Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, November 24, 2009
At least three youngsters in Calabasas have fallen victim to violence by fellow middle-school students after a Facebook group urged people to beat up redheads, authorities said Monday.
The first reported incident occurred Friday morning when a 12-year-old redheaded boy was kicked and hit by a dozen of his classmates at A.E. Wright Middle School, Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators said.
Detectives took reports of two more assaults, targeting a seventh-grader and an eighth-grader that day at the middle school, said Lt. Scott Chew. Investigators are trying to determine whether there was a fourth attack, officials said.
The students who participated in the attack may have been motivated by a Facebook message telling them that Friday was “Kick a Ginger Day,” according to Chew.
“Ginger” is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin.
Chew said investigators believe the bizarre attacks were inspired by the television show “South Park.” A satirical 2005 episode focused on prejudice against “gingers” after one of the characters claims that people with red hair, light skin and freckles have no souls and suffer from a disease called “Gingervitis.”