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Casco Bay High School students march in support of hate crime victims

High school students in Portland marched in solidarity Monday, after police say four of their classmates were targeted in a hate crime. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) -- High school students in Portland marched in solidarity Monday, after police say four of their classmates were targeted in a hate crime.

Monday afternoon, students and staff at Casco Bay High School marched in a "walk of solidarity" against hate crimes.

This, after an unknown teenager on Friday allegedly pulled a knife on four African-American freshmen, on Allen Avenue as the students waited for a city bus.

More than 100 students, teachers and staff gathered outside Casco Bay High School and walked from the school to the bus stop. Casco Bay's principal says the march was intended to send a clear message to the community, that they will stand up to hate and fear.

Portland police say they're still looking for the person who made racist remarks to the four African-American teens. It happened on Allen Avenue at around 1:45 Friday afternoon. Police say the unknown young man also assaulted two of the teens and pulled a knife on them, before running off.

Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana says he's relieved the students were not hurt. He also says the school is now taking steps to keep their students safe. Police will watch the bus stop before and after school, and so will a school staff member.

"And clearly, that's going to deal with the issues in this location,” Botana said. “But it really takes the community as a whole to come together and make sure that this doesn't happen when they get off the bus."

Casco Bay students whose families emigrated from African countries say they feel safer knowing not only the police, but fellow students, have their backs.

The four students describe their attacker as a white male, about 17 years old, with patchy facial hair.

They say he had a camouflage backpack and was wearing a black Insane Clown Posse hat.

Portland police are encouraging witnesses to come forward.

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