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Afghan-American student feels bullied at Del Norte High School

A 10th grader claims other students called him a 'terrorist' and referred to him as 'Gandhi'.

SAN DIEGO — CBS 8 is working to get answers, after the family of a 10th grader showed us videos of apparent bullying at Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch.

The student and his family feel the 15-year-old is being targeted by other students because he is of Afghan descent.

One of the cellphone videos was recorded on campus and shows a female student pushing the boy during a confrontation.

CBS 8 is not identifying the students involved because they are minors, and the family asked not to be named.

“I’m Afghan-American and I feel like this is definitely based off racism because I'm being treated differently than everybody else,” said the Del Norte High student.

He claimed the harassment has been happening for the past eight months and continues off campus during lunch breaks.

Another cellphone video was taken in front of a nearby restaurant, where a student can be seen lunging at the boy and trying to get him to fight.

“What part of 'I'm not fighting you' do you not understand?” the boy yells back.  “I'm not fighting you here.”

“He started coming up to me and saying ‘Yo, we're fighting.’ I told him I'm not fighting, you back up. And he kept on cussing at me.  He spat on me.  He threw a bottle at my head,” the boy told CBS 8.

He said a small group of Del Norte students is responsible.

“When I'm walking in the hallways this group of kids always calls me a terrorist or they yell insults at me, like they randomly call me ‘Gandhi’ for some reason,” he said.

In another video, the boy used his own cellphone to record an altercation in the school’s locker room.

“They were laughing at me. They were cussing at me, calling me a queer,” the student said.

The boy's mother said she has met with the school's principal and vice principal but the harassment continues.

“Every time we came to talk to them, they said they'll do something, but they did nothing,” the mother recalled.

“I am scared one day something big will happen. I don't want something physical to happen or something really bad to happen,” the mother said.

CBS 8 spoke to Del Norte High administration and emailed the Poway Unified School District.  

A District spokesperson emailed us the following statement attributed to Del Norte High School Principal Bryan Schultz:

"Del Norte High School takes every incident of harassment or bullying reported to us very seriously. Each of these incidents was thoroughly and immediately investigated and consequences were issued according to Education Code and PUSD policy. The school communicates and works directly with all families of students involved in every incident that is investigated. While we can not publicly share consequences due to the confidentiality of the minors involved, we can assure you each incident is handled appropriately by site and district personnel. We work extremely hard to create a safe learning environment for all of our students."

The boy’s parents told CBS 8 that school officials have tried to keep the students involved separated, during both class time and lunch periods.  

But the boy said he still comes in close contact with the other students and remains concerned about his safety.

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