An assault on a female Muslim student occurred on Friday, 11th November at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids, Minneapolis. On Tuesday, four days after the attack happened, school officials made a statement regarding the incident, garnering much criticism in their urgency.
A Muslim student wearing the hijab was assaulted by another classmate, her classmate grabbed her hijab ripped it off her head and threw her garment to the floor. She then pulled the hijab-wearers hair down in front of other students.
The student alongside her family reported the incident to school officials but they were initially met with a muted response. The family decided to escalate the matter and report the incident to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). The family reported to CAIR-MN that their child is feeling emotionally and physically distressed after the assault.
On Tuesday the school started an official investigation into the assault. Jim Skelly, the spokesman for Anoka-Hennepin School District, the district where Northdale Middle School comes under, told StarTribune the district confirmed the incident and is working to find out where communication broke down between the parent and the school.
Skelly's statement downplayed the event and distanced the assault being based on race or religion, he stated, "The preliminary findings of the investigation indicate that this was isolated and not motivated by bias, However, the concerns of the family reflect similar concerns around the metro and align with the need in our communities to find ways to talk about race and culture constructively and respectfully.”
CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein made an official statement regarding the hijab pulling, expressing, "School officials must take immediate actions to ensure that all students, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, are provided a safe learning environment, it should not take days to respond to an apparently bias-motivated assault on a student."