Friday, March 25, 2005

Racial "kill list" was a hoax

13-year-old used hoax to fit in with other black students:

A 13-year-old African-American boy who was trying to "fit in" confessed to a hoax that prompted parents to pull their kids out of Laredo Middle School on Wednesday, officials said.

The boy, a Laredo seventh-grader, created two "kill lists," discovered Tuesday, that included a racial slur and threatened harm to roughly a dozen black students, police said. The suspect included his own name, said Kathleen Walsh, spokeswoman for Aurora police.

One list was scrawled in pencil in a boys' restroom, Walsh said. An African-American student reported finding a second list in his locker.

News of the boy's arrest stunned parents.

"It's a shock," said Rachel Turk, one of more than 40 parents who pulled their children out of Laredo on Wednesday after hearing about the threats. She said she was "horrified" by the kill list.

Turk's son, who is black, went to school Wednesday, but her husband pulled him out. The thought that the list was made by a black student had crossed her mind, Turk said.

"I said to my husband, 'I hope it's not one of our kids playing games."'

Walsh said the boy may have been motivated by a desire to fit in with other black students. Another possible motive is that he was worried about getting into a fight and created the list as a distraction.

The suspect was released to his mother and may face misdemeanor charges of racial intimidation, harassment and interference with an educational institution.

He has also been suspended and could be expelled, said Michelle Ancell, spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District.

The suspect confessed to Aurora police on Wednesday. Inconsistencies in one list and a handwriting analysis led police to him.

In the news:

School holds forum on "kill list" incident

Colorado teen's 'kill list' a hoax

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