Officials at a private French high school in Toronto waged a months-long "campaign of communication" to defame two teenage students involved in a fight because they were Muslim, the lawyer representing the pair told court Monday.

In three separate suits being tried together, Omar Elgammal and Danial Velshi -- who were 13 and 12 at the time -- allege they were publicly blamed by officials at the Toronto French School for a fight with a student from another school.

Elgammal and Velshi, who are now 20, claim the fight broke out on Oct. 23, 2008 over racial slurs the other teen used to describe them and their relatives. They allege the boy was at the school to sell drugs.

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