Police investigate headlock attack on hijab-wearing girl at suburban Chicago middle school


CHICAGO (AP) — Police are investigating an attack on a girl wearing a hijab at a suburban Chicago middle school.

The attack happened Thursday at Glenside Middle School in Glendale Heights. The Chicago Tribune reported Monday., The student’s cellphone video shows a male student grab the girl’s head and hold her in a headlock before pushing her to the ground near some lockers.

Hijab is an Islamic headscarf. The girl is from Saudi Arabia and had been at the school for two months, according to the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Joseph Williams, superintendent of Queen Bee School District 16, told the newspaper that investigators have identified the students involved in the incident and there is no indication that the attack was motivated by bigotry.

Williams said, “This is a serious disciplinary incident and we are handling it as such, but we have no evidence that this was any act of intolerance related to a matter of faith.” Will not tolerate this. “Our duty at this point is to protect the child from what happened, and then to respond within the framework of the law, understanding that everyone here is a child.”

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Glendale Heights Police Department officials did not immediately return messages from the Tribune seeking comment. A message left by The Associated Press with a village spokesperson a few hours Monday evening was not immediately returned.

Williams said the girl is one of 91 students who are new to the country and attending school in the district. He said the district’s approximately 1,700 students speak 52 different languages.

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