(BCN) — Parents and a civil rights group are calling on Francisco Middle School in San Francisco to conduct a thorough investigation after a student made allegations of a physical and verbal assault last month. The victim’s mother told the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations that as her daughter walked home from school on Oct. 25, she was struck in the back of the head, fell and suffered a concussion, and that the assailants also threw strikes to her chest and ribs.
She alleges that one of the attackers said “f—ing Muslims” as they left.
The victim’s mother also told CAIR-SFBA that she alerted the school the next day and subsequently a meeting was held five days after the attack and her daughter identified the attackers after looking through a yearbook. However, the organization says action had yet to be taken on the part of the school administration.
“CAIR-SFBA is concerned that no visible corrective action has been taken against the attackers, leaving the victim afraid of returning to school,” said Jeffrey Wang, a senior civil rights attorney with CAIR. “We are deeply troubled by the lack of assurances that these events will be thoroughly investigated and that necessary safety measures will be implemented to protect the victim and other Muslim students from further harm.”
The San Francisco Unified School District responded to an inquiry stating they are actively investigating the claims. Zahra Billoo, executive director of CAIR-SFBA, said this investigation only came about after the organization sent a letter of complaint to the district on Wednesday, about three weeks after the attack.
The allegations come amidst widespread reports of Islamophobia and antisemitism on campuses. Relatedly, the University of California announced earlier this week it will pledge $7 million to tackle Islamophobic and antisemitic hate crime on campuses, including mental health care for students and staff. A survey done by the California branch of CAIR found 40% of Muslim students in the state’s public schools have claimed some form of bullying in the past decade.
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