Three boys detained for Facebook-inspired attacks

Three California boys were booked on suspicion of bullying or kicking red-haired students at a middle school when a Facebook prank inspired by an episode of the television show "South Park" got out of hand, reports the Associated Press. A 13-year-old boy was detained last week for investigation of threatening to inflict injury by means of electronic communication–essentially, cyber bullying–and two 12-year-olds were booked for battery on school property, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman said. The three suspects could face misdemeanor charges, but it was unclear when the case might be submitted for possible prosecution. Four girls and three boys reported that schoolmates shoved or kicked them on Nov. 20 at A.E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, an affluent suburb of Los Angeles. Investigators said the attacks were inspired by a 2005 episode of "South Park" that satirized racial prejudice by having the character Cartman incite a hate campaign against freckled, red-haired "ginger kids." (The word "ginger" is an anagram for another common racially charged epithet.) The episode apparently inspired the 13-year-old to send his friends a Facebook message declaring "Kick a Ginger Day," authorities said. Most students ignored or deplored the message, and some sent "Protect a Ginger Day" counter-messages, but a dozen or so students apparently acted on the joke…

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