Houma, LA – A 15-year-old freshman at Vandebilt Catholic High School is facing hate crime charges after he threw cotton balls at a black classmate and then began whipping him with a belt (video below).
The incident occurred on March 9 inside the crowded cafeteria at the private high school located in the 200-block of South Hollywood Road in Houma, NBC News reported.
A cell phone video filmed in the lunchroom showed a white student walked up behind a black classmate who was sitting at a lunch table and tossed a bunch of cotton balls down in front of him.
Then the white student began whipping the black student with a belt, the video showed.
Another black student seated beside the boy who was being whipped got up and walked away from the table.
The boy who was being whipped got up and lunged at the boy who had been whipping him, the video showed.
The video showed the black student shoved the white student out through the doors of the room.
Witnesses told WWLT that the boys are two of very few black students at the prep school.
The black student was sent home from school for pushing the white student who had been harassing and whipping him, according to NAACP President Bishop Talbert Swan.
Vandebilt Catholic President Jeremy Gueldner later released a statement that said the school doesn’t tolerate bullying or racism, according to NBC News.
These “actions by a few are not consistent with the values and mission of our school,” the statement read.
“I’m very pleased that the school took a front stand on this,” Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet said in a news release.
“When we received the complaint, we immediately put our detectives on it. They worked through the weekend so we could get to this point,” Sheriff Soignet said. “My officers did a good job handling it and working with the school to get this case to where it is now.”
The white student who whipped his black classmate was arrested on March 15 and booked into the Terrebonne Parish Juvenile Justice Center on battery and hate crime charges, WWLT reported.
Neither the student arrested nor the victim have been identified because both are juveniles.
The parents of the boy who was targeted thanked the community for its support in the statement published by the archdiocese, NBC News reported.
“We will continue to pray for our school community as a whole, that we not only get through this together but that we each learn a valuable lesson from what has taken place,” the boy’s parents said.
Terrebonne Parish NAACP President Jerome Boykin said the fast response by school officials and law enforcement “sent a strong message to the community that this type of crime will not be tolerated,” NBC News reported.
“The young man is only 15 years of age and I hope that he can learn from his mistake,” Boykin added.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic content and obscene language:
This is Vanderbilt Catholic school in Houma, LA.
A white student threw cotton at a Black student and whipped him with a belt. Other white students laughed.
The Black student was sent home.
Tell me again how white youth are not racist like their parents and grandparents 🤔 pic.twitter.com/uQQ6jB5yP2
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) March 15, 2022