A 14-year-old student in Palm Beach County was injured after being violently kicked and punched but police and the girl’s father cannot agree on a motive for the altercation.
Shakeel Munshi, the father of the teen who was attacked says that his daughter might have been a target because she is Muslim. He said that in the past students have taunted his daughter, calling her a terrorist as part of the ongoing bullying she has been subjected to for being Muslim.
“She has bruises on her face. One eye is black – neck, had nails, big nails, on her neck, and there are lots of big bumps on her face, her head,” Munshi stated. “She used to say that they’re making fun of her … that she’s terrorist, kind of thing.”
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says otherwise, stating that the victim and another student met over an “ongoing dispute.”
Sources say that the victim who goes to West Boca Raton High School met an Olympic Heights High School student at the South County Park on Thursday afternoon. The victim thought they were there to “talk,” according to the PBCSO. They also said, “The suspect, student from Olympic Heights HS, apparently told the victim she wanted to meet to fight. The victim agreed to meet anyway.
“At NO time was ‘race’ or ‘bullying’ ever discussed, determined or considered to have played a role in the altercation. The victim was wearing a shirt that said ‘Bulls’ XL, which is believed to be a school t-shirt.”
In an earlier Facebook post, Munshi said his daughter had been bullied repeatedly by some classmates over the fact that she was Muslim. He said that the victim wanted to end the feud and went to talk to the girls wearing an anti-bullying shit and was then brutally beaten.
There is video of the altercation in which the girl is seen being kicked to the ground and punched repeatedly. The exact motive of the attack is under investigation.
“Nothing at this time indicates a hate crime, it was apparently over a boyfriend,” the West Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office stated. “Our deputy will be following up with School Board to identify the multiple subjects in the video.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking for criminal charges against those who beat the girl.
“CAIR-Florida receives numerous complaints of school bullying incidents and serious assaults against Muslim youth at a constantly increasing rate,” Omar Saleh, CAIR-Florida Civil Rights counsel, said. “We have reached out to the victim’s family and will ensure that this serious issue is addressed swiftly and appropriately by local officials.”