Louisiana authorities have charged a white high school student with a heinous crime when he threw a cotton ball at a black student and then hit him with his belt.
HOUMA, LA. – A black high school student has been charged with hate crime after being caught in a video throwing a cotton ball at him and whipping him with his belt, authorities said Wednesday.
A 15-year-old freshman from Hoover Vandebilt Catholic High School was arrested Tuesday on battery and hate crimes charges after authorities reviewed a recording showing what happened inside the cafeteria on March 9.
The video shows the white student walking behind a black student sitting in the crowded lunch room. He throws a handful of cotton balls at her, and then whips her repeatedly with his belt until the black student stands up and pushes him away, the news outlet reported.
“I’m glad the school is at the forefront of this,” Terebon Parish Sheriff Tim Sognet said in a statement.
“When we received the complaint, we immediately handed it over to our detectives. They worked over the weekend so we could get to this point, “Sognet said.” My officers did a good job of handling it and worked with the school to get the case to where it is now. “
News outlets reported that the victim was one of the few black students at the school. Authorities have not been able to identify the students, and it is unclear whether the arrested teenager has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
The school does not tolerate bullying or racism, says Jeremy Gueldner, Vandebilt Catholic president. The Archdiocese statement said that “the actions of a few people are not in line with our school’s values and mission.”
The parents of the targeted child thanked the people for their support.
“We will continue to pray for our school community as a whole so that we do not go through this together but we can each learn a valuable lesson from what happened,” the parents said in a statement to the Archdiocese.
Jerome Boykin, president of the Terebon Parish NAACP, also praised school officials and police for their swift response, saying the school and the sheriff’s office “sent a strong message to society that such crimes would not be tolerated.”
“The young man is only 15 years old and I hope he can learn from his mistakes,” Boykin added.