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Windsor, Ont. student asked to leave St. Clair College campus for wearing keffiyeh

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In what is being billed as an “example of anti-Palestinian racism in Windsor,” a video circulating on social media shows a young woman denied entry to a St. Clair College facility for wearing a keffiyeh.

In the video circulating online Wednesday, a security guard employed by Paladin Security can be heard telling the person recording she is not allowed inside the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts — ostensibly for wearing a keffiyeh, which he refers to as a “scarf” in the video.

“I know what it means. You’re not allowed in here,” the guard was heard saying.

The person behind the camera asked: “I can’t check if my friend is in the bathroom because I’m wearing a keffiyeh?”

“Right,” replied the guard.

A spokesperson for St. Clair College told CTV News Windsor the incident happened “after hours” late last week, and added that the institution acted quickly to rectify the situation.

“It does not represent the values or policies of St. Clair College,” wrote John Fairley, vice president of communications and community relations for the college. “Once we learned about the incident, we immediately addressed our concerns to Paladin Security, who immediately addressed the situation with the employee and resolved the issue.”

In his written statement, Fairley said that Paladin Security reached out to the individual in the video.

CTV News Windsor contacted Ali Dabaja, a paralegal with Dabaja Legal in the city, who said the person in the video has sought his services, but that she does not wish to be identified.

Dabaja said she was considering legal action.

The video caught the attention of Sarah Jama, MPP for Hamilton Centre, who made headlines earlier this month when she was asked to leave the Ontario Legislature for wearing a keffiyeh under a controversial new policy enacted by the speaker.

“How is a kuffiyeh a threat to security?” Jama asked in a post to X.

In a statement to CTV News Windsor early Wednesday evening, Paladin Security said it is aware of the incident that took place at St. Clair College Centre for the Arts last week and confirmed the termination of the employee seen in the video.

"The individual employee’s conduct does not represent the values or policies of Paladin. We do not condone this behaviour, and we immediately took steps to address this issue, including terminating the individual employee. We also immediately reached out to the affected individual to apologize," the statement reads. "Paladin holds diversity and respect as core values and will continue to work to ensure similar incidents do not occur in the future."

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