Hodgdon High Student Cited In Race-Motivated Attack At School

April 20, 2005

Attorney General Steve Rowe today announced that his office has filed court papers in Aroostook County Superior Court alleging that a Hodgdon high school student violated the Maine Civil Rights Act when he taunted and attacked a student of Mexican descent. The suit alleges that the defendant, who is a minor, followed the victim through the halls of Hodgdon High School, taunting him with ethnic slurs, and then subsequently attacked him in the school parking lot. The suit also alleges that the defendant has a history of conduct evidencing bias and hatred towards persons of different races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions.

The Attorney General seeks to permanently enjoin the defendant from any further bias-motivated threats or acts of violence, property damage, or trespass against the victim or others.

Attorney General Rowe said, "Taunting and assaulting a child because of his or her ethnicity is not only shameful, it is illegal. The fact that the perpetrator is a fellow student does not excuse such behavior; rather, it makes it all the more deplorable. No child should be afraid to go to school because of ethnic threats and violence from other students."

Attorney General Rowe commended the Aroostook County Sheriff's Department for its investigation of the incident. The department referred the case to Rowe's office for this action under the Maine Civil Rights Act.