Friday, May 1, 2009

Teen brawl probed for racial taunts

Source: Globe And Mail

A hate-crime investigator continues to probe the fight that led to the suspension of a 15-year-old Korean student at a high school in Keswick, Ont.

The youth began his first day at a special centre for suspended students yesterday, still unsure whether the boy he says racially abused and then punched him will face charges.

A spokeswoman for York Regional Police said no further charges have been laid, but police continue to conduct interviews.

"There is a hate crime investigator assigned to look into whether it is a hate crime or hate motivated in some way," Sergeant Laurie Perks said yesterday.

The 15-year-old was suspended for 20 days and will not be able to attend regular classes at Keswick High School. He is also charged with assault causing bodily harm, and will have to attend a local police station next week to be processed and fingerprinted, his father said.

The charge stems from a fight in gym class on April 21. The 15-year-old, who came with his parents to Canada from Korea in 2004, says he got into a dispute with a white classmate. The white student addressed him with a racial slur, calling him "a fucking Chinese," and when confronted he refused to apologize.

The white student threw the first punch, hitting the 15-year-old in the mouth. The 15-year-old, a black belt in tae kwon do, threw a left-handed jab that broke the white student's nose. The 15-year-old was the only one charged, which led to an outcry from the students at his school.

More than 400 walked out of class Monday morning to protest, carrying signs and wearing black clothing as a sign of solidarity.

Why do schools and police complicate things so much. Aren't kids allowed to fight anymore? The white boy called the Asian kid fucking chinese and punched him in the mouth. The Asian kid retaliated and knocked him out. What's the commotion about? We all must have seen this many times during our 12 years of school.

This is an easy job for the principal. Call both boys into his office, call both parents and work it out. What's the point of suspending 15-year old kids?

And a hate crime? "Fucking Chinese" is now a hate crime? Come on, the kid is fucking 15. You're going to charge him? Just get a counsellor and work it out. I bet you anything the two kids will become friends if they spend any amount of time together.

The police better think really hard about this. Take race out of it. If they seriously are going to charge a kid for taking a punch first and then punching back they're going to be in some heat. I might as well go around town taunting and punching people and then taking punches to the face and charing them. Who do the police think they are? The NHL?

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