November 24, 2009 in Nation/World

Students target redheads, police say

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES – As many as four youngsters were targeted in suburban Calabasas by at least a dozen middle-school students after a Facebook group urged them to beat up redheads, authorities said.

The first reported incident occurred Friday when a 12-year-old boy was kicked and hit in two incidents on the campus of A.E. Wright Middle School by a dozen of his classmates, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators.

Further investigation led detectives to confirm a second attack in the city, and they now believed there may be two more victims, said Steve Whitmore, a department spokesman.

The students who participated in the attack may have been motivated by a Facebook message telling them that Friday was “Kick a Ginger Day,” said Lt. Richard Erickson.

“Ginger” is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin.

Whitmore confirmed that all four victims in the investigation have red hair.

The Facebook message may have been inspired by an episode of the television show “South Park.” An episode in 2005 focused on prejudice against “gingers” after one of the characters said people with red hair, light skin and freckles have no souls and suffered from a disease called “gingervitis.”

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