14-year-old Syrian refugee says she faced bullying, beating in El Cajon

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- The family of a Muslim student in El Cajon was joined by the Council on American-Islamic Relations at a news conference Wednesday condemning Greenfield Middle School for its handling of alleged bullying that ultimately turned physical.

The student, a recently arrived refugee from Syria whose identity was kept private, said she dealt with torment from fellow students throughout the last school year but that a March 20 incident stands out as particularly painful.

Representatives say on that day, a group of eight to 10 of the student's classmates followed the eighth-grader home harassing her. The group allegedly shouted slurs at the teen, slapped her, and pulled her hair and hijab, demanding to "see her identification."

Now CAIR says the principal of Greenfield should be fired for not taking a more active role in preventing the teen's bullying. The group says school officials were made aware of the girl's treatment even before the March 20 incident.

Representatives for Cajon Valley Union School District attended the press conference Wednesday, sounding a sympathetic tone while also pushing back on certain allegations.

"The child's story is heartbreaking and we are here because we care about our students," Superintendent Dr. David Miyashiro told FOX 5. But, he added, the district believes "not all the statements shared inside are accurate." Miyashiro said that he couldn't comment directly on certain discipline and personnel decisions.

CAIR says that they have video evidence from the March 20 attack, but it has not yet been released.

We will update this developing story as we learn more.

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