What to Know
- Two boys, both 17, have been charged for allegedly urinating on a younger girl and yelling racial slurs at an NJ high school football game
- The school district said it is working closely with police on the investigation; the township's mayor said he was "deeply disturbed"
- Authorities have declined to elaborate on the slurs that allegedly were used or discuss other related details, citing the ongoing probe
Two 17-year-old high school students have been charged for allegedly yelling racial slurs at a younger girl, and one of the boys urinated on one of the victims, police say.
The teens were attending Lawrence High School's homecoming game on October 18 when they started shouting the obscene and racially offensive words at four eighth grade African-American girls.
Lawrence police say both of the boys are of Indian descent and live in the township. They're charged with harassment, bias intimidation, and lewdness.
It's still not clear what sparked the Friday night incident that officials are calling an isolated event. Authorities have declined to elaborate on the slurs that allegedly were used or discuss other related details, citing the ongoing investigation.
Authorities have said the victims, including the girl who was urinated on, also lives in Lawrence and attends the middle school located right next to the high school.
"I think the difficulty that African Americans and myself included feel about this is that this is taught bigotry. That we are somehow at the low end," said Christopher Bobbitt, the mayor of Lawrence Township.
Saying he was "deeply disturbed" by the allegations as they emerged on social media, Bobbitt added, "the police need to do their jobs and investigate the matter."
The school superintendent said he was saddened by what happened at the school that features equally large populations of Latinx, African-Americans and South Asians students.
"[The students] are disappointed that they do not believe this is a picture of who we are and what we are as a school district," Ross Kasun said.
The school district said in a statement it is working closely with police on the investigation, adding, "We take these incidents seriously and we will continue to investigate until all of the facts are uncovered."
The school held all-student assemblies are the high school and middle school Monday and Tuesday to address the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Lawrence Township Police Department at 609-896-1111.