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7 red-haired students were attacked, authorities say

Four girls and three boys were victims of the so-called ginger attacks at a Calabasas middle school, an L.A. County sheriff's probe has found. Eight boys are under investigation.

November 26, 2009|By Richard Winton

At least four red-haired girls and three boys are now believed to have been victims of the so-called ginger attacks at a Calabasas middle school that were inspired by a Facebook message, a Los Angeles County sheriff's investigation has revealed.

The seven victims were targeted in a series of assaults at or near A.E. Wright Middle School that began early Friday after the perpetrators acted on a Facebook message stating that it was "Kick a Ginger Day," authorities said. Ginger is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin.

Detectives have identified eight boys at the school as formal subjects of the investigation, said Steve Whitmore, a sheriff's spokesman. No arrests have been made.

The investigation began after a 12-year-old boy was assaulted by his classmates, authorities said. His cuts and bruises were treated by a school nurse, who reported the incident to the principal.

"This was the most serious of the assaults," Whitmore said. "The other incidents tended to be pushing, shoving and intimidation. More of an aggressive bullying."

The assailants were seventh- and eighth-graders at the school, authorities said. Sources familiar with the probe said that some action will probably be taken against at least four of the perpetrators.

Many of the new victims came forward amid the publicity surrounding the bizarre attacks, authorities said. Detectives are investigating the incidents as possible assaults with a deadly weapon.

Investigators say they believe that the attacks were inspired by the television show "South Park." A satirical 2005 episode focused on prejudice against "gingers."

richard.winton

@latimes.com

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