In Woodsboro, TX, a Black teenager said he was shot with a stun gun by three of his high school classmates who were dressed in Ku Klux Klan outfits on Halloween, Newsweek reports.
Matt Manning, the teenager’s attorney, hasn't identified his client or the alleged perpetrators because they are all minors,
Manning told Newsweek that his client has been "far more gracious than I would have ever been at their age."
"We're not talking about high school hijinks—we're talking about a very metered and intentional decision to do something that you know is terrorizing," Manning said. "That's what has incensed me since I first heard about this case."
"I think it's really important to discuss the historical context—the Klan is a particularly evocative terror group for Black Americans,” he added.
In a Facebook post, Manning said that the three alleged perpetrators are on the Woodsboro High School football team but were still permitted to play last Friday.
"We are demanding an explanation from the Woodsboro HS administration and athletic department for how three players could commit an act of terror, hate, and injury—surely known by coaches and administration to have occurred—yet still be afforded the PRIVILEGE to play football," Manning’s post read.
He described the three teens as "depraved menaces."
In a statement on Facebook, Ronald Segers Jr., Superintendent of the Woodsboro Independent School District, acknowledged the incident saying that the district "is aware of an event that occurred on Halloween night and involving Woodsboro High School students allegedly dressed in garb associated with a widely-known racial hate group and antagonizing a classmate."
"This event did not occur at school or at any school-sponsored or school-related activity," the statement read. Also, the post said that the district "cannot discipline students for this type of conduct when it occurs off-campus."
Manning said that the district’s statement was "unconvincing" and noted that the school’s “written code of conduct allows for punishment for severe activities even when they are off-campus.”
"I find it wholly unsatisfactory," he explained. "We're dealing with intentional acts and those call for severe punishment."
Manning also stated that there may be a video of the incident circulating among students and police officers are attempting to procure the footage.
Jeremy Lane Coleman, president of the Corpus Christi, Texas, chapter of the NAACP, characterized the incident as a "hate crime" during a news conference with Manning this week.
Back in September, the FBI released a detailed report that hate crimes in the United States have escalated to their highest level in more than a decade in 2020. According to the study, 61 percent of victims were targeted for their race or ethnicity.