Police, school officials investigate racial remarks, threats

2014-04-30T15:55:00Z 2014-04-30T23:33:04Z Police, school officials investigate racial remarks, threatsStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 30, 2014 3:55 pm  • 

NEW CARLISLE | Police and school officials are investigating a string of racially charged incidents against a high school boy and his family.

School officials said a threatening note placed in the locker of an African-American boy at New Prairie High School.

The note came to light after the boy was assaulted Monday in the school, police said.

The acts at school follow a threatening call made to the family's home in January.

LaPorte County authorities were made aware of the incidents Monday when the 16-year-old boy reported he was kicked in the groin by a female classmate at New Prairie High School.

The boy said he bent down to pick up a paper when the girl approached and kicked him, creating enough pain for him to ask to go home, police said.

After police were called, the boy told investigators about a note he found in his locker that stated "all (expletive)s must hang."

His guardian also revealed a telephone call she received in January from a man asking how many people lived in her LaPorte-area home because he needed to know "how many to lynch," according to investigators.

According to police, the school corporation is looking into those reports.

Lori Marsh, who is the boy's guardian and aunt, said her nephew and his younger brother moved in with her family six years ago and during that time they have had to deal with racial remarks directed at them in school.

On several occasions, Marsh said she has brought the issue to school officials, but nothing has been done to stop the acts.

"The N-word comes in spurts, but it happens at the middle school and the high school," Marsh said.

New Prairie School Corp. Superintendent Jim Dermody said the girl who assaulted the boy was disciplined but he would not offer more specifics on her punishment.

He also said the note was investigated by administrators but they could not prove who wrote the letter.

Dermody said any complaints associated with racism are investigated, and if allegations against any individual in the schools are proven "disciplinary measures are levied."

"We're always preaching tolerance of all. Tolerance is very important to our school corporation," Dermody said.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jim Sosinski said his department will likely probe deeper into the telephone call.

Sosinski said one positive sign is it appears the woman has not received any other similar calls on the telephone.

He said the amount of time elapsed since the telephone call will make it more difficult to trace unless Marsh can remember exactly when during that month it was placed.

"It may be more of a prank, but we take these things seriously," Sosinski said.

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