COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Five middle school students have been arrested after an attack on classmates in Coconut Creek, according to police.
One of the victims said he was jumped and whipped and his parents are saying it is because of the color of his skin.
Outraged parents said that their children are scared to go back to school after Coconut Creek Police said a group of kids were targeted because of their race.
“They were whipping them, kicking them, hitting them,” Frank Foster, a parent of one of the victims, told Local 10 News.
It happened Wednesday morning just outside of the school. According to arrest forms, 3 kids were approached by their classmates who yelled at them, “You are white.”
One began attacking the boys and another joined in as the kids yelled, “It’s Opposite Day! and Brown Power!”
The fighting lasted for a few seconds. One of the victims claimed that the group used a black USB phone charger and began whipping him with it.
The incident happened just steps away from the police. All 5 were arrested and charged with battery. While the alleged victims are physically fine, it’s the mental and emotional toll that worries parents.
Foster said the middle schooler who did report the incident received text messages later in the day. “People at school are calling him a snitch for reporting it and doing the right thing.”
Foster said his son is “scared and nervous” to go back to school because some of the kids are in the same class.
Parents said the incident is part of a bigger bullying problem on campus and that it continues to get worse.
“I’m frustrated with the school that they are not making the effort to stop it and keep them safe,” Foster said.
There is also a concern among parents that there might have been other kids involved who were not caught.
Officials at Lyons Middle School said they are taking the incident seriously and they are working closely with law enforcement.
Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal released this 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 judgment can occur. As always, we will work closely with our school officials to see that the suspects are appropriately dealt with, the victims receive appropriate services, and that the incident doesn’t manifest into further conflict. Finally, we will take appropriate action to ensure that all of our kids are safe before, during, and after school throughout Coconut Creek.”