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Students with tape over their mouths and bright signs stood outside Rio Americano High School Friday, protesting after they say a student was mistreated by an administrator.

Their signs read “let us breathe.”

A female student reportedly tried to get a paper back from an administrator earlier this week, when something happened.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies responded, and say after their investigation they found the 17-year-old girl had a book report confiscated for inappropriate content. The student wanted it back, but was told no.

Deputies say a few minutes later, the student returned to the administrator’s office and rushed him, even biting him so hard it left a mark.

Student protesters FOX40 talked to said the administrator held down the student, and wouldn’t let her breathe, however the sheriff’s department’s investigation did not report that.

Deputies say when the student rushed the administrator they fell to the ground, and the administrator used a “bear hug” to restrain the student after she bit him.

“We are investigating the incident, making sure all the appropriate incidents and procedures were followed,” Trent Allen, spokesman for San Juan Unified School District said.

By 10 a.m. Friday, the protesters were called to a meeting with school administrators to answer their questions.

“They are sharing their views and their opinions in a respectful way which is what we would hope for if they believe in their cause. They are showing a great example of civil action,” Allen said.

The San Juan Unified School District says the student who allegedly bit the vice principal is being disciplined.