LA: Promotion of violence on Facebook leads to physical attack of 12 year old boy

(LA TIMES) Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives are investigating an assault on a 12-year-old middle school boy in Calabasas who may have been targeted after a Facebook group urged students to beat up redheads, a sheriff's official said Saturday.

The boy was kicked and hit in two incidents on the campus of A.E. Wright Middle School by as many as 14 of his classmates, Lt. Richard Erickson said. The students who participated in the attack may have been motivated by a Facebook message telling them that Friday was "Kick a Ginger Day," Erickson said.

"Ginger" is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin, Erickson said, adding that the victim has red hair. He said the Facebook message may have been inspired by an episode of the animated television show "South Park." An episode in 2005 focused on prejudice against "gingers" after one of the characters said people with red hair, light skin and freckles have no souls and suffer from a disease called "Gingervitus."

The incident in Calabasas occurred about 8:30 a.m. Friday. The boy sought help from the school nurse, who contacted the principal. Sheriff's officials arrived on campus shortly afterward. "He was accosted by seventh- and then eighth-graders," Erickson said. "He was kicked and hit with fists in various areas of the body."

No arrests have been made. Detectives are investigating the incident as a possible assault with a deadly weapon. The boy's injuries were not severe. His name was not released because he is a juvenile.

Deputies believe there may have been other victims but no other students have come forward. The school's principal, Kimmarie Taylor, could not be reached for comment.

Sheriff's investigator Scott Rule said after the incident he contacted other schools in the area and learned that school officials had heard about the rumor. "Nobody thought it was going to be this serious," he said.

One A.E. Wright parent, Steve Bernal, said he was told that teachers led discussions in their classrooms about discrimination. Bernal said he was upset about what had happened but glad that the school responded so quickly. He said he was concerned about how the Internet may have motivated the students involved.

"How does this happen off of Facebook?" he said. "Doesn't Facebook monitor these groups that are being created?"

Mathy Wasserman, co-president of the parent faculty club, said she did not know details about the incident but said she trusted the school officials to respond appropriately.

"I have confidence and faith in the school's ability to handle this," she said. "A discipline matter is not for the court of parents' hearsay and rumor to be decided."

Last year on the same day, several similar incidents occurred in Canada, according to media reports.



Copyright © Jewish Internet Defense Force
All Rights Reserved

LEGAL:
The views expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the JIDF. The content is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual. This site's intention is to do no harm, to not injure others, defame, or libel. All data and information provided on this site is for informational, educational, and/or entertainment purposes only. The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) makes no representations as to accuracy, currentness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, or access to this site. We are not responsible for translation or interpretation of content. We are not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious or other laws from the reader’s country of origin. All information is provided on an as-is basis with no warranties, and confers no rights. We are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, opinions expressed, privacy policies, products or services or for any damages or losses, directly or indirectly, caused or alleged to have been caused as a result of your use or reliance on such information on the Jewish Internet Defense Force site. This site includes links to other sites and blogs operated by third parties. These links are provided as a convenience to you and as an additional avenue of access to the information contained therein. We have not reviewed all of the information on other sites and are not responsible for the content of any other sites or any products or services that may be offered through other sites. The inclusion of these links in no way indicates their endorsement, support or approval of the contents of this site or the policies or positions of the JIDF. We have the right to edit, remove or deny access to content that is determined to be, in our sole discretion, unacceptable. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use this blog and the Website. The JIDF is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Related Posts with Thumbnails