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Assault of Calabasas boy is not being investigated as a hate crime

Authorities said today that an assault on a 12-year-old Calabasas boy who was allegedly targeted by his fellow middle school students because of his red hair is not being investigated as a hate crime.

The attack on the boy occurred at A.E. Wright Middle School by as many as 14 classmates, police said. The incident may have been motivated by a Facebook message on Friday saying it was "Kick a Ginger Day."

However, the incident does not meet the criteria of a hate crime, said Lt. Scott Chew of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"This doesn't apply," he said.

"Ginger" is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin. It gained notoriety from a 2005 episode of "South Park," an animated comedy show with adult humor, in which "gingers" were picked on.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was kicked and hit with fists in various areas of the body, police said. His injuries were not severe. 

No arrests were made in the attack. Detectives are investigating the incident as a possible assault with a deadly weapon. 

-- Baxter Holmes
 
Comments () | Archives (95)

If a black or latino kicked this kid it's small crime. The other way around it is hate crime then ACLU, Sharpton and Jesse will eat you for lunch. Whites usually pays more for everything.

My son is enrolled at AE Wright and I was as disturbed as anyone to learn about this Friday afternoon at pick up. I pulled my older son from this same school years ago and put him in private due to all the bullying he was on the receiving end of. The school has little to no supervision on the grounds. Shame on the school, shame on the parents, and shame on the students who participated. I know some of them. APPALLED would be an understatement!

I went to that school back a long time ago, I had and still have very very bad memories of my time there. It was and apparently still is the worst school in the Las Virgines School District. Its not a scool of learning its just a place to warehouse kids until the parents come back from work. There is little to no adult over sight. That school when I went ther was right out of Lord of the Flies. I know in my day, kids were dealing drugs and stealing money. I was molested and abused by several older kids there and the school did nothing about it. The even forbid me from calling the police because it would make the school look bad. I still remember the VP (Mr. Valentine) saying that to me. It still effects me to this day. I hated that school. and this article is giving me the worst flash backs. I guess you would call it tramatic stress disorder. I really feel sorry for that kid because what happened to him if it was anything like what happened to me. Will stay with him for the rest of his life and effect every aspect of his life.

P.S. that attack should be considered a hate crime since it was attributed to physical appearance.

This is a disgusting and shameful event that has taken place. To first off label him as a "ginger" when it is clearly a durrogatory remark and then to have so many kids involved. I'm horrifyingly stunned. This is very much a HATE CRIME and there should be legal action taken.

Obviously no one is checking out anything goes "South Park".Their M.O. is outrageous, they invented dark kid humor.This proves kids act out, God only knows how often it has happened in the recent past.

This is definitely a crime, all these kids involved should be punished, what is wrong with our kids today? no accounting for actions, no morals, no regard for rules, what will happen in the next 20 years to these same kids. the schools need to start taking control and also, of the parents.

Kids are stupid. They were when I was a kid and that has not changed. They know what they did was wrong. Kids and the pack mentality...ugh. Well, I do hope they get punished (I'd also like to see the parents punished). Who ever posted that message on Facebook should be punished even more for spewing that garbage. Parents you need to watch what your kids are doing on site like these. Parents, you need to watch your kids in general. It starts at home.

First off having red hair is not a race. Secondly, any crime is a hate crime on one level or another. I got beat up in school because people did not like my older brother.So anyone with an older brother, special intrest group! Our socity has spiriled down to everyone wanting to be a special intrest group. Too much TV news!

Hate crime? Were the kids doing the beating black or another non-white race?

No matter how you color it, it is a hate crime. The school needs to bring this to the attention of all the students, teachers, parents and administrators that this will not be tolerated and that the school will take action. Read their mission statement.

Now, Now, calm down folks...it'll all be out of the news in a day or two...then back to normal...

fm

What the heck is that matter with people??!!

This is the problem with having hate crimes laws at all. ALL crime should get the same priority, no matter what race, sex, etc of the victim. Every victim feels the same afterward, no matter the reason for the attack. Just call crime what it is and investigate it and prosecute to the full extent of the law!

It's a shame that the culture can except different maybe this ought to be something taught at the dinner table that it's alright to be different then others we all can't have the same color hair eyes and most of all skin.The family of this child is in my prayers. I'm sorry that you had to experience this God bless

Not a hate crime, please ! The schools and police and parents need to pull their heads out, this is how payback gets started. Hate or not, there is no room for this in schools or anywhere. Like someone said before if it was beat a black day the crap would hit the fan, racest or not. TOTAL B/S.

As a former student of AE Wright I am saddened by this. What the school should do is give all the kids involved as well as the victim. Math TI-83 calculator Detentions for the rest of the year for 1 hour a day after school and design 3 pop-up books based on the math together as a group. Math in junior high is the most hateful subject so being forced to deal with it is torture. Make these kids learn what every key and function does on the TI-83 that would be pure torture. At the same time it would give them an idea of what getting a future in high school means. I really liked AE Wright when I went. But I would rather see these things happen at 11,12,13,14 before these kids get in automobiles than later.

On an afternote after they serve their detention time at they should be forced to join the JCee club and send their profits to less fortunate schools to buy Ti-83 calculators. Every junior high school in America should have a TI-83 calculator. The rich schools should also have HP48 C's as well. Make all kids try to learn engineering. I don't know that everyone would be good at it. but all kids should be exposed to it. Ideas about sustainability are the next cause to educate our kids about. Math plays an extremely integrated part for it.

Leighton Cooper

Some posts are trying to claim that if the circumstances, or or mor specifically, if the victim were different (black, latino, gay, jewish, etc.) it would be investigated as a hate crime. That's entirely false. The are plenty of examples of high profiles cases involving violence with a victim who is either a visible minority or whose identity as a member of a specific group played a role in or characterized the nature of their attack. I would say the vast majority don't move forward as hate crimes...even those involving homicide.

I do feel though , like many of you, that they were nevertheless hate crimes. I am not a lawyer but My guess is that it may be harder for the courts to convict these crimes: you not only have to prove that the suspects commmitted the acts but that they did because they held prejudice beliefs...

This doens't suprise me. Quite often communities make such claims that a particular crime was about hate only to have many others say that their being too sensitive.

One need only look at some of the "Birther" protests that happened in DC earlier this year; despite the fact that many who participated carried obviously racist signs, it was amazing how many people still argue to day that it had nothing to do with race.


Court see jurors as more than capable of engaging in collective denials over attitudes in culture and how they affect how we treat each other.

The poor kid is assumed to be of the Irish "race", and has thus been fair game to the White race (or any other) for centuries. He is part of the only minority group of Americans that does not enjoy protected status. Explain to him that that taking a beating is what his thick Irish skull was made for. give him a few shots, and let him sleep it off.

this is totally a hate crime. The police are just questioning whether they want it to be considered a hate crim because duh the person was white! If this kid was of any other race it would be considered a hate crim automatically wihtout any reservations. We saw the same thing ocurr when the black kid hit the white kid with the baseball bat. In that incident if it happened the other way around it would have been a hat crime as well. Police officers just dont want to get tangled up in a political scandal so there just going to let a bunch of middle schoolers beat up on a kid an get anyway with it just to save their own career. The police are all driven by selfish -motivation, not necessarily wahts legally or morally right.

"If this was "Kick a Hispanic" , "Kick an African American" or "Kick a Gay" there would be hate crime investigations, the FBI would be involved, civil rights leaders would be protesting in the streets."

Not Really ... they would say it was gang related if a hispanic or black kid was beaten at school.

The difference with this story is most of the kids who beat up this boy are white.

To me the cateforization of the crime does not matter - we could debate this all day and night and come up with as many differing opinions as the participants of the debate. Bottom line is that a crime was committed, the perpetrators are known and the sheriff is investing this as a "POSSIBLE" assault with a deadly weapon. What is possible about this? It happened! Are they waiting until one of them turns up with a gun and fatally injures another child? Its the intent that matters - whether the victim was seriously hurt or not does not matter. If nothing is done what will stop a victim to be so consumed with hate after an incident like this because nothing was done to the bullies that he or she turns up with a gun to get justice for himself? 12 year olds do know the difference between right and wrong. For those parents who are purporting that this is group think or ignorance as an explanation - would you take the same position if it was ur daughter or son? Or and we can't blame the internet - if parents were more vigilant parenting their kids, they would know what their kids were getting involved in before it escalated to this.

To me the cateforization of the crime does not matter - we could debate this all day and night and come up with as many differing opinions as the participants of the debate. Bottom line is that a crime was committed, the perpetrators are known and the sheriff is investing this as a "POSSIBLE" assault with a deadly weapon. What is possible about this? It happened! Are they waiting until one of them turns up with a gun and fatally injures another child? Its the intent that matters - whether the victim was seriously hurt or not does not matter. If nothing is done what will stop a victim to be so consumed with hate after an incident like this because nothing was done to the bullies that he or she turns up with a gun to get justice for himself? 12 year olds do know the difference between right and wrong. For those parents who are purporting that this is group think or ignorance as an explanation - would you take the same position if it was ur daughter or son? Or and we can't blame the internet - if parents were more vigilant parenting their kids, they would know what their kids were getting involved in before it escalated to this.

"If it was "beat up a kid with an afro", Jesse Jackson would be marching in Calabassas right now. If you are going to have "hate crimes".. then this fits the case."

It's ignorant views like this that encourage this type of behavior. Was that comment really necessary.

Hate crime or not, this is a prime example of abdication of parental responsibility and failure. Why are kids this age even ALLOWED to watch a show like South Park without some parental guidance? The satire and real intended message is easily lost on an immature audience without an appropriate frame of reference. My kids weren't allowed to watch this show, and many others with mature themes such as Family Guy, American Dad, and King of the Hill, until they were in high school. Even then, I made a point of watching with them, so that when controversial issues were raised I could discuss such issues with them and help them understand the intentions of the writers at a more adult level. Just because a show is animated, doesn't mean it's appropriate for a young audience. How many parents out there would let their young teens watch "Fritz the Cat?"

Parents, it's time to wake up! Not everything is suitable viewing for teenagers. Mass media CAN affect the way people think and act. It's important for parents to give appropriate guidance and instruction, not take the lazy way out and assume all is OK because "everyone else's parents allow it." And for the producers of shows and games marketed to kids (whether you claim they are or not) -- it's time for YOU to take some ethical responsibility as well. Does controversial/objectionable material sell because the market drives it, or do you drive the market? Is it always really necessary? If you're trying to get a message across, do you really think that the average person or teen will get it on their own without a little commentary? There's no reason why such material can't be made instructive and educational by the addition of just a little bit of commentary on the intention. Think of the service you could be providing!

Before someone accuses me of wanting to deny free speech, this could not be further from the truth. Nothing is really free -- everything comes at a price. We always need to take responsibility for what we put out there into the world. Once the "damage" is done, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to undo.

hate crime with all capitals

 
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