COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of middle school students was arrested after they were accused of committing a hate crime near their Coconut Creek school, according to police.
The parents of some of these victims said, because of the incident, their kids don’t want to go back to school.
“School is supposed to be a safe space,” said Frank Foster, the parent of one of the students.
Four unsuspecting Lyons Creek Middle School students said they were targeted and attacked by five fellow students outside the North Recreation Complex, just before school, Wednesday.
Coconut Creek Police said it was racially provoked.
“He got out of the car. I think he heard some noises, and some kids started saying, ‘We’re gonna get revenge on you for what you did in the past,’ and he got jumped. They hit him and ran off to some other kids and kept going,” said Foster.
The victims told police they were approached by the group of kids who were yelling, “You are white.”
They were tackled and beaten up as the group of attacking kids yelled, “It’s opposite day” and “brown power.”
The victims claimed they were beaten with sticks and cable cords and were also hit and kicked.
Foster said what happened was inexcusable.
“He’s scared to go back to school, obviously, around the same kids in the hallways,” said Foster. “It’s concerning what’s going on in the school, and they don’t really seem to be doing much about it. The steps they take don’t really protect the kids. The options are to go to a different school and run away or be in the same school with the same kids again.”
The school principal sent a robo-call to parents, saying she’s aware of what happened and is working with police.
“It’s an issue. It’s going to push kids to the next level to where something they’re not going to be able to come back from,” said Foster.
“My stepson and my daughter go to this school and then I even have a high schooler who goes to Monarch, that came to Lyons Creek, and it was always just a good school. It’s kind of odd that anything like this might have happened,” said Diana Quiroga, concerned parent at the school. “I got a call yesterday from the school kind of explaining the situation.”
Mya has a sister who attends Lyons Creek.
“Knowing this, no, I don’t think she’s safe,” she said.
Coconut Creek Police said in a statement: “We are disappointed to take law enforcement action in response to a racially-motivated crime by school-aged children within the city of Coconut Creek. This is an extremely rare occurrence in our community, but these are children, and as such, poor judgement can occur.”
The students accused of attacking the other students were charged with battery and prejudice while committing battery.
Quiroga said race has never been an issue.
“It’s not a community driven by that, you know?” she said. “We’re all a very open community, diverse.”
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