A 16-year-old Muslim girl required medical attention after being attacked on an Ann Arbor school bus Wednesday afternoon, according to Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The victim’s family is seeking help in classifying the attack as a hate crime.
The victim’s family contacted Walid shortly after the attack to seek support in deeming the attack a hate crime. Walid said the girl obtained the majority of her injuries when she was dragged to a nearby home where the attackers tore off her headscarf – or hijab — and shouted racial epithets.
“In regards to what was said to the girl and her brother, something along the lines of ‘Eff Arabs, they are dirty anyway,’” Walid said.
The incident allegedly began as an argument on the Skyline High School bus at the end of the day, then escalated once the students exited the bus across the street from North Maple Estates, according to AnnArbor.com.
Walid said the assailants also attacked the victim’s brother when he tried to come to her defense. He said the girl sustained a black eye and facial bruises in addition to six stitches above her right eye.
The group of attackers consisted of at least five African American teens, one female and the rest male, Walid said.
In addition to an open Ann Arbor police investigation, Skyline High School is also taking action to discipline the students involved in the attack, according to Walid.
“I understand that four kids have been disciplined, but the principal of the school cannot release the nature of the disciplinary action,” he said.
Walid said that the victims’ family intends to press charges against the attackers.
Ann Arbor police would not comment on the case because it is an open investigation.