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A white, teenage boy allegedly posted a photo of his classmate — a black boy from the same Illinois high school — on Craigslist with the caption “slave for sale” last week. And the black boy’s classmates taunted him in the hallway for days — “I’ll buy you for a dollar,” they told him, according to the Naperville Sun.
Now, police in the Chicago suburb of Naperville have charged the unidentified white 14-year-old with juvenile felony hate crime charges, according to the Chicago Tribune. He’s also been charged with one count of disorderly conduct and a misdemeanor, and appeared in juvenile court Wednesday. He’s due back in court in December.
"The allegations against the juvenile in this case are beyond disturbing,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. “Hate crimes have no place in our society and will not be tolerated in DuPage County.”
The Craigslist post, which has since been taken down, also allegedly included a racial slur, according to police. The photo included was apparently taken at a lunch table last Thursday when the two were sitting together. The mother of the black boy has said her child and the white boy used to be close friends but had a falling out and that the boy had been bullying her son for a while.
The white boy was suspended, although it wasn’t immediately clear whether it was an in-school or out-of-school suspension. But the mother of the black 14-year-old told the Sun that she wants to see the school district do more to ensure the boy is properly punished.
The school district released a statement to the community after the alleged incident saying “racial discrimination and hateful acts are never acceptable,” according to ABC-affiliate WLS-TV. Officials from the local chapter of the NAACP came to the school for a closed-door meeting this week, and the charges were also a topic of discussion at a community meeting Wednesday night, according to the local television station WGN.
Another racist incident occurred at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Naperville last month. A group of multi-racial customers reported they were celebrating a birthday party when they were forced to move because a white customer didn’t want to sit near them. The restaurant chain fired two managers as a result of the incident and banned the white customer, apparently a regular, from its restaurants.
Cover image: The office of online site Craigslist is seen March 10, 2006 in San Francisco, California. Craigslist.org is being sued in a federal lawsuit for violating fair housing laws by publishing discriminatory classified ads. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)