School Suspends Pupil After She Was Called 'Terrorist,' Hijab Removed

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A male student allegedly harassed a female Muslim student, and when security got involved, things escalated to her arrest and the removal of her hijab.

Apple Valley High School from a distance. Wikimedia Commons: Angular

A female Muslim student at Apple Valley High School in Minnesota was allegedly removed from the premises with excessive force by security, reports the Star Tribune. The security guard in question has been put on leave, and an advocacy group is demanding an investigation into the incident.

The Minnesota Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) said that a male student was harassing the Muslim student and called her a "terrorist." This escalated into an altercation between the two high schoolers, and school security guard Jason Rieck intervened.

"The security guard focused completely on her," said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN. "He proceeded to grab her."

Rieck called for backup from authorities, and three Apple Valley police officers responded. The girl said that she was handcuffed, after which Rieck yanked off her hijab. According to the Star Tribune, she was taken to the local police department for questioning and eventually released.

School officials held a meeting with the girl's parents and initially decided to suspend the student for the rest of the school year, but the suspension has since been revoked, and the girl returned to Apple Valley High on Monday.

There are currently no reports on what disciplinary action was taken on the male student who initially harassed her.

"I'm scared for my safety at Apple Valley High School," the sophomore girl told reporters. "I feel very threatened."

CAIR says it has received complaints from other Muslim students at the school, some saying that this altercation has made them feel unsafe as well.

Apple Valley Police Capt. Nick Francis said that law enforcement is still trying to talk to other witnesses to get a full picture of how things escalated to such a degree.

Let's hope they get some clear answers and that steps are taken to ensure all students at the school are able to learn in an environment where they feel safe, supported, and advocated for.

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