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La. teen recorded throwing cotton balls, whipping classmate

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 6:04 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT
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HOUMA, La. (KNOE) — A 15-year-old high school student in Louisiana has been charged with a hate crime, according to the Associated Press.

The teen, who is white, can be seen throwing cotton balls at a Black student and then hitting the student with his belt. The target of the attack then stands up and pushes the white student away. The setting appears to be a crowded school cafeteria at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma. Copies of the video are still circulating on social media at the time of this report.

A news release from the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office said the student was arrested Tuesday. In addition to the hate crime charge, the student is also facing a charge of simple battery.

An archdiocese statement says there’s no tolerance for racist or bullying behavior, the AP said.

The following news releases issued by the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office include some additional information on this case. They are italicized below.

Update: March 15, 2022

Sheriff Tim Soignet announced the arrest of a Vandebilt High School student in connection with the racially motivated video, which was captured in the school’s cafeteria, and later shared on social media last week. On today, March 15, 2022, Terrebonne Parish detectives arrested a 15 year old 9th grade student for simple battery and hate crime. The student was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Juvenile Justice Center. Sheriff Soignet commends TPSO detectives for their thorough investigation.

March 10, 2022 (Original Release)

Sheriff Tim Soignet said that on Thursday, March 10, 2022, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office received a complaint regarding the video recorded incident that was being shared on social media. The video that appears to be racially motivated was allegedly recorded at a local high school during school hours.

TPSO detectives met with the parents of the victim and an investigation is being conducted. The parents of the victim also met with the school’s administration and they are diligently assisting the parents with addressing this non-acceptable episode.

Anyone having knowledge of this incident is asked to call Terrebonne Parish detectives, (985)876-2500. Information regarding this incident will be released at a later time after the conclusion of this investigation.

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