Fairfax High School students stage walkout to support student they say was target of Islamophobic attack

About 350 students from Fairfax High School walked out to show their support for a student they say was attacked in an Islamophobic incident. (Courtesy Fairfax High School student)

Hundreds of students from Fairfax High School in Virginia walked out in protest Thursday morning to show their support for a student they say was attacked in an Islamophobic incident.

A Change.org petition calling on Fairfax school administrators to do more about the incident, which happened Tuesday, has garnered more than 3,600 signatures.

Reagan Wise, a student at Fairfax High School, told WTOP that a male student pushed a female student to the ground, took off her hijab, beat her up, “and then the guy who did it did not face any trouble and is currently still threatening other students.”

The petition says that the female student was left exposed without her hijab and that “an ambulance was called into the school for a panic attack when they really should have been told this was an assault.”

A spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools told WTOP in a statement that FCPS is “conducting an investigation into the incident and no further details can be shared at this stage as administrators work to establish the facts.”

Fairfax City Police said its criminal division is in the early stages of an investigation.

FCPS confirmed that at around 8:10 a.m., roughly 350 students at Fairfax High “exercised their right to protest following an incident between two students that took place in school on Tuesday afternoon…. Fairfax County Public Schools and City of Fairfax Schools support the rights of students to peacefully protest.”

Wise said students are demanding that the male student receive a harsher punishment, possibly expulsion.

“This is not right, this should have never happened, and the school is covering this up,” the Change.org petition claims. “We plan on doing whatever we can to get justice and make our schools feel safe again.”

WTOP’s Luke Garrett contributed to this report.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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