An Anoka-Hennepin School District investigation is underway in Coon Rapids after a student wearing a headscarf was involved in what CAIR-MN is calling an assault.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement Tuesday expressing concern over the school district’s response to an incident Friday at Northdale Middle School.
The family of the student reported to CAIR-MN that a classmate came up behind the student, removed her hijab and threw it on the ground, then pulled her hair down in front of other students. In a news release, CAIR-MN said the district did not respond to Friday’s incident until Tuesday.
“School officials must take immediate actions to ensure that all students, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, are provided a safe learning environment,” CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said in a statement. “It should not take days to respond to an apparently bias-motivated assault on a student.”
Hussein added that the aggressor was also targeting other Muslim female students.
The district confirmed the incident and is working to find out where the breakdown of communication between the parent and the school took place, said Jim Skelly, district spokesman.
District officials have reached out to CAIR-MN, Skelly said. The district released a statement Tuesday afternoon stating that CAIR-MN’s description of the incident “is inconsistent with the district’s understanding.”
“The preliminary findings of the investigation indicate that this was isolated and not motivated by bias,” the statement reads. “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.”
The Northdale incident is one of several cases of harassment reported at Minnesota schools following the election. Racist graffiti mentioning President-elect Donald Trump by name was reported last week at Maple Grove high school.