Fairfax County High School students walk out of class in protest of alleged racist attack
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Hundreds of Fairfax High School students walked out of class Thursday morning in protest of an alleged racist attack on a Muslim student.
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Several students tell FOX 5 the alleged attack happened Tuesday when a student was shouting racial slurs at another student. They then say the first student beat up the second before taking off her hijab.
Students who witnessed the incident say the second student later passed out in the hallway.
Two students who know the victim tell FOX 5 plans for the protest started after news spread that the student involved only received one day of in-school suspension.
One student FOX 5 spoke with also started a Change.org petition that now has over 6,000 signatures and counting.
The students involved say they want to hold the student responsible and the school accountable and make sure nothing is swept under the rug.
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"Her hijab is so important to her. I was talking to her about it, and she, like, felt so bad, so exposed," says student Reagan Wise.
"Being part of that religion, the hijab is almost like a representative. It’s like it's very valuable and for her to be exposed, for her to have that one thing that’s protecting her, and having that taken off for everyone to see, it was incredibly damaging for her," says student Amira Bouhsane.
Fairfax County Public Schools says they support the students' right to protest.
A newsletter was also sent to parents on Thursday saying they condemn all acts of violence.
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FCPS officials say the school is investigating the incident and no further details can be shared as administrators "work to establish the facts."
FCPS released this statement on the matter:
"At 8:10 a.m. today, (12/16) approximately 350 students at Fairfax High School exercised their right to protest following an incident between two students that took place in school on Tuesday afternoon. The school is conducting an investigation into the incident and no further details can be shared at this stage as administrators work to establish the facts. Fairfax County Public Schools and City of Fairfax Schools support the rights of students to peacefully protest."
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Fairfax City Police tell FOX 5 they are still in the early stages of the investigation. They say they did interviews with witnesses on Thursday and it's still too early to know if there would be punishment.