Calif. Kids Accused of Taunting Black Teen With Noose

Wrestler teammates suspended, cops investigating
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2011 1:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – California high school wrestlers face possible hate-crime charges for reportedly taunting a black teammate with a hangman's noose, then chaining him to a locker, police said. The mother of the victim didn't learn of the confrontation until almost a month after it occurred. "That the school district administration never told me about it is an additional outrage," said mom Victoria Gray. Her son was first confronted by a brown dummy in a hangman's noose when he entered the locker room at Santa Monica High School for wrestling practice, a school investigation revealed. Then one white teammate grabbed him in a bear hug while another chained his pants to a locker as both made racially charged remarks, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gray's son didn't report the attack, but school administrators learned of it later, and sent an email to the school community about the "serious matter," and announced that students were given "appropriate disciplinary consequences," including suspension. The entire team was also given sensitivity training. Gray's mother last week filed a complaint with local police, who are investigating. The wrestlers "could get charges ranging from assault to battery to hate crime," said a police spokesman. The school district refused to comment to ABC News, citing the ongoing probe.

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