U.S.

Hijab-Wearing, Syrian Refugee Student Attacked in Pennsylvania Bathroom Fight Not Hate Crime, Say Authorities

Criminal charges are pending after a viral video of a fight between two Pennsylvania high school students in a bathroom.

The fight happened on Friday but gained traction on social media over the weekend after it was posted to Facebook. The post has since been removed.

In the minute-long video, a female dressed in a purple hoodie shoves another girl wearing a hijab into a bathroom stall. While the second female throws a punch, the first female retaliates with a few punches, eventually moving in for several additional hits after the two exchange a few words.

The first female ends up on the ground and struck repeatedly. She was later treated for bruising and a concussion.

While it is unknown what the two students were saying in the video, the first student can be heard saying, "You're lucky you're from another language, because I will crush you, [expletive]."

The fight took place in a bathroom at Chartiers Valley High School, and isn't believed to be a hate crime but, instead, an instance of bullying, Collier Police Chief Craig Campbell told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“We are taking this incident very seriously, and it is being fully investigated," Campbell said.

However, the student attacked is of Muslim descent, Safdar Khwaja, the Pittsburgh chapter president of The Council on American-Islamic Relations said. The student moved to the United States years ago after spending two years in a Syrian refugee camp, Pittsburgh Action News 4 reports.

“They were fleeing anarchy, violence, and the complete breakdown of the social system, governing system so they came to a civilized place and we all assured them this is the most civilized place in the world. To see this kind of violence take place, it’s very disappointing," Khwaja said.

The CAIR has asked for an investigation into bias from state and federal law enforcement. CAIR-Pittsburgh is offering legal assistance to the student's family, the Post-Gazette said.

Khwaja also said that the assertion that the attack was not racially or religiously motivated is "a prejudgment on the part of the police."

Campbell told the Post-Gazette that criminal charges are pending in the fight.

While there is no word on disciplinary status for the student, the Chartiers Valley School District released a statement, saying: "Chartiers Valley School District does not condone or tolerate violence of any kind and will enforce consequences to the fullest extent. The District considers matters of student safety and security to be of utmost importance and strives to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for all of its students and staff.”

Several students told CBS Pittsburgh that the attacker had a reputation for trouble and that they hoped the district would take action.