FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — EDITOR'S NOTE: In light of developments with this story, WUSA9 has made the decision to remove the student's name and likeness from the story since she is a minor.
A statement on Saturday from the City of Fairfax Police Department says a Fairfax High School student who claimed she was the victim of a hate crime and had her hijab pulled off gave differing accounts of the story and the claim was found to be unfounded.
On Saturday, the City of Fairfax Police said that no evidence of a hate crime was uncovered in their investigation into the altercation. Originally, a student claimed that she was thrown across a room and had her hijab taken off of her while inside the school.
Police said the student confirmed that no racial comments were used during the altercation.
Police are still investigating the physical altercation, which is said to have dislodged the student's hijab, exposing her hair, according to the student's statement to police.
However, the student's attorney released a differing statement, expressing disapproval of the department's decision.
"We strongly disagree with the decision by the City of Fairfax Police Department. Many witnesses have attested that the victim’s hijab was forcibly removed during the altercation. Witnesses also corroborated the victim’s statement that students in the classroom engaged in racist and Islamophobic drawings, and that the perpetrator made racist comments prior to the attack. This was shared multiple times with law enforcement," according to Abed Ayoub, Legal and Policy Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Ayoub confirmed he is representing the student.
"We are confident that as the investigation continues and witnesses continue to be interviewed the evidence will show that this violent act was motivated by hate."
On Thursday, police responded to the school after a medic call was made for breathing complications. They said that no one at the time told the SRO any kind of assault had occurred. The spokesperson said the department's criminal division was actively investigating what happened.
In a letter sent Thursday to Fairfax High School families, Fairfax High School Acting Principal Maureen Keck said an investigation was also being conducted by the district.
"It is our responsibility to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and humanity in our schools as well as foster an open, respectful, and inclusive learning environment for all students. We have much work to do and will continue to strive to promote a school community where all students feel respected, safe, and included," Keck said in the letter.
Several hundred Fairfax High School students walked out of class Thursday in protest to show support for the student who claimed to be maligned. In one day, more than 6,000 people signed a change.org petition that urged the school district to take action for what they perceived to be an injustice against the student.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has also pushed for the incident to be investigated as a hate crime and called for the alleged assailant to be suspended during the investigation.