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Ontario school board investigating after video appears to show Hijab-wearing student being assaulted


“I want to remind you and your children that Islamophobia is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at our school.”

That’s what the principal of a secondary school in Mississauga, Ont. told parents in a letter after a student wearing a hibjab was allegedly assaulted by another student and the footage of the incident was shared on social media.

“Islamophobia and all forms of oppression need to be uprooted from our schools and communities,” Omar Zia, principal of The Woodlands School, wrote in the letter dated Jan. 17.

CTV News Toronto is protecting the identities of the children involved

In a statement to CTV News Toronto, a spokesperson for the Peel District School Board said that an investigation into the December incident is underway.

"Woodlands Secondary School responded promptly to the incident and has completed its school investigation," the statement reads.

"The incident is being addressed in accordance with PDSB’s Student Code of Conduct, Policy 48, Safe and Caring Schools, and appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students are at the forefront of a welcoming and inclusive school environment."

In an updated statement issued Thursday, a spokesperson for the PDSB said that while Islamophobia has "not been confirmed as related to this incident," the board recognizes "the impact the conduct portrayed in the video has had on the community."

A blurred image of an alleged assault at a Mississauga secondary school is seen here. (Supplied)

Sources say the assault started because one student was standing up for another, but the school board would not confirm this to CTV News Toronto.

In a tweet published Tuesday evening, the National Council of Canadian Muslims said it was aware of the “disturbing video” circulating online and working with the victim and the school to offer support.

The organization, however, suggested that it is not clear whether the incident was hate motivated.

“It's important for all angles to be measured. It's important for us to consider this possibly being an incident of hate, and, if so, how do we address it and how do we ensure that this no longer takes place in our school systems?" said Fatema Abdalla, the advocacy officer at NCCM.

Abdalla said the NCCM is in discussions with the Peel District School Board to determine what exactly happened leading up to the incident captured on video.

In the meantime, she said the NCCM is working on a long-term strategy to address Islamophobia within the board.

Peel Regional Police told CTV News Toronto that at this time no victim has come forward in connection with the video. Top Stories

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