Six US Middle Schoolers Face ‘Hate’ Charges for Alleged ‘Racist Online Chat’

Six middle-school students in Massachusetts face “hate” charges for participating in an online chat thread that allegedly included discussion of a “mock slave auction.”

The students are between the ages of 13 and 14 and are from Southwick (Massachusetts) Regional School, according to WBTS.

The “hate speech and race-based bullying” allegedly occurred on Feb. 8, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said during a press conference Thursday.

Gulluni added that his office became aware of the alleged racist online discussion on Snapchat and began its investigation a week later.

With the probe concluded, Gulluni said he is pursuing criminal charges against the teens for engaging in the “hateful, racist online chat that included heinous language, threats and a mock slave auction.”

The six students are being charged with “threat to commit a crime,” and two are being hit with additional charges of interference with civil rights. One also is facing a witness interference charge, according to WBTS.

Gulluni said he can’t offer more details about what the alleged racist teens said in the Snapchat thread or divulge the identities of the teens because they are minors.

But the district attorney said the students made racist comments and slurs, talked of violence toward people of color, and posted derogatory images and videos. Gulluni said the teens also joked about putting two students from their school on a slave auction.

As WBUR noted, Snapchat is set up to automatically delete what is posted to the service a short time after posting, but participants have the option to save the chat to their personal accounts.

Gulluni, WBUR reported, said he met with the victims and their families during the investigation.

“Hatred and racism have no place in this community. And where this behavior becomes criminal, I will ensure that we act,” Gulluni said in a statement.

“There is no question that the alleged behavior of these six juveniles is vile, cruel, and contemptible. Seeing it, and facing the reality that these thoughts, that this ugliness, can exist within middle school students, here, in this community, in 2024 is discouraging, unsettling and deeply frustrating.”

Gulluni said he is working to launch a unit that will develop an anti-hate and anti-bullying curriculum for the Southwick schools.

The district attorney also said he intends to contact State Attorney General Andrea Campbell’s office to develop more programs to combat racism in schools.

“We have had conversations with leadership of the Massachusetts State Police, which recently announced a new unit called HART, which stands for Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team,” Gulluni explained.

“We will enlist their support and resources to jointly instruct police departments and school personnel across Western Massachusetts on best practices regarding hate crimes and bullying within schools.

“While I am optimistic that these initiatives will have a meaningful influence, I implore everyone to take their own steps to fight racism and bullying,” Gullani said in the statement, per WBTS. “We have a responsibility to call out ignorance and hate when we witness it. We have a responsibility to promote tolerance and empathy. And when we accept this duty we all have a powerful impact on our communities.”

Gullani concluded:

“I hope that our collective efforts to grow empathy, compassion and tolerance will overcome the forces of apathy, malice and intolerance. This is not an issue exclusive to a place, an age group or to a particular race. This is a universal issue that we must face as one unified group. Let’s move forward with hope, resiliency and commitment to justice.”

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This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

The post Six US Middle Schoolers Face ‘Hate’ Charges for Alleged ‘Racist Online Chat’ appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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