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Black student chained to locker, finds noose around dummy in alleged racial bullying incident

June 29, 2011 |  8:43 am


An African American student at Santa Monica High School says fellow members of the wrestling team chained him to a locker and hung a noose around a brown wrestling dummy.

The alleged racial incident is being investigated by Santa Monica police and school officials, who sent an email to parents earlier this month calling it a "serious matter that warranted a swift and appropriate response." The students accused were given "appropriate disciplinary consequences, including suspension," Principal Hugo A. Pedroza said in the email to parents.

The student and his mother, Victoria Gray, reported the incident to police on June 21. The incident happened more than a month ago, but Gray told The Times she was never notified by the school and didn't find out about the incident until May 31, when she heard about it from a parent she did not know.

The student walked into the school's wrestling room on May 4 and found a brown practice mannequin with a noose tied around its neck, according to the report made to authorities. He then went to the locker room to change and two students restrained him in a bear hug and used a cable and lock to chain his pants to a locker, according to the report. The students allegedly made racial remarks.

Sgt. Richard Lewis said that the students could face charges of assault and battery for allegedly restraining him, and that the racial nature of the encounter could constitute a hate crime.


Activist seeks to have Santa Monica High incident prosecuted as hate crime

--Rick Rojas