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Four youths and one adult have been charged with assault in connection with a beating at a high school in Sutton, Ontario, about an hour north of Toronto.
In April, a black student at Sutton District High School was beaten as onlookers egged the attackers on with racial slurs, the Toronto Star reports. The attack was recorded in videos made by several students, and were shared on social media.
“There is deep-seated racial tension at this school” Shernett Martin, executive director of the Vaughan African Canadian Association, told the Star. “They’re devastated,” Martin added, referring to the victim's family, who say the boy has been bullied on the bus for months.
“From the day we moved in, PJ was the subject of bullying, harassment and racism,” the father of the victim told the Star. “He didn’t say anything for a long time.” The parents told the paper that they only heard about the harassment in February, months after they'd moved to the community.
This isn't the first time the school has had to deal with issues of racism.
Last year, the Confederate flag started to become popular among members of the student body, leading principal Dawn Laliberté to ban the symbol. At the time, one Grade 10 student who had a T-shirt, belt buckles and a hat featuring the flag told the Toronto Star, “It’s more about the country values, we don’t think of it as racist."
In the wake of the ban, the school implemented new "inclusivity programs," the Star reports. And York board spokesperson Licinio Miguelo told the paper that “the school has and continues to treat it very seriously and take appropriate measures.”
And in 2007, the area saw a series of assaults targetting Asian fisherman near the community of Jackson's Point. In 2009, one man was found guilty of assault and criminal neglience in an attack on a car that left a 26-year-old man with brain damage and confined to a wheelchair.
Via Toronto Star