Parents and teachers are outraged after students organised a ‘Kick a Ginger’ day at school.
Children were told by teachers that starting the trend was “unacceptable behaviour” and could be considered as assault.
The incident, in Boston, is thought to have been inspired by an episode of South Park in 2005.
The kids – who were aged around 12-13-years-old and at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School – took it upon themselves to kick their red-headed classmates.
Melrose Public Schools issued a statement saying that the children’s “unacceptable behaviour and poor judgement” are strongly condemned.
(A group of seventh graders) chose to imitate an episode of South Park, called Kick a Ginger, in which they target red heads. We are outraged and concerned for both the victims and the aggressors for the impact that this will have them. And we are incredibly disappointed.
According to the statement, incidents were taking place between classes in corridors and stairwells, and staff were unaware until injured students went to the nurse.
Children were told that they must cease and informed that it could be considered assault. The victims were also issued an apology on behalf of the school.
Alex Lock was one of the terrified seventh graders left battered and bruised after being attacked by his classmates – because of the colour of his hair.
He told WHDH 7 News: “Some people they were bleeding, had nose bleed, had marks even on their faces” and described the students as having a ‘mob mentality’. His friend, Ryan Constantino, who also has red hair, was left limping after the incident.
Ryan added: “Somebody would come and say ‘National Kick A Ginger Day’ and they would kick someone.”
Disciplinary action was threatened against those who perpetrated any attacks, and students who had been identified as aggressors were given discipline hearing letters to give to their parents. involving police.
The South Park episode ‘Ginger Kids’ originally caused controversy when it was aired in November 2005 after its ironic premise led to people act violently against redheads.