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Police Say Rope Burns on Black Student’s Neck Are Not Evidence of a Hate Crime

A police car rushes to the emergency call with lights turned on[/caption]Investigators in Blanco County, Texas say that they have found no evidence of a crime after a 12-year-old black girl sustained severe rope burns during a class field trip.

The girl, identified as K.P., alleged that three boys wrapped a rope around her neck and dragged her to the ground during the Live Oak Classical School trip last April.

K.P. told the police that the incident had occurred at a rope swing. The children were gathered in a group as they pulled the rope to lift the swing higher. K.P. said she became tired of pulling and stood to the side. The next thing she knew, she felt the rope around her neck and was “violently jerked” to the ground.

“When it got around my neck, no one helped me, so I had to pull it off by myself,” she said.

According to the lawsuit, three boys had been standing behind her, one of whom had previously targeted K.P. at school. The girl reported that her classmates frequently ignored her and physically bullied her. Yet, when K.P.’s mother confronted school administrators about the issue, they just blamed her daughter.

The young girl’s parents are suing the school for $3 million in damages, accusing the school of negligence.

Although statistics show that nearly one in three students is involved in bullying, the school’s lawyers brushed off the incident, claiming that the plaintiff’s lawyers were just exploiting the hot-button issues of bullying and race. Investigators have also said that they believe the incident was an accident.

“The victim’s story seems to have evolved some, but no evidence was revealed that indicates that this was more than an accident,” said Blanco County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Ablon. He added, “As to the allegation, by the attorney, that this injury was the result of a racially motivated attack, there was no evidence found of any racially motivated act toward this victim by anyone at or associated with LOCS. This was even supported by the victim’s statement.”

According to Blanco County District Attorney David Hall, the statements given by all the students involved have been inconsistent.

“The many inconsistent statements also leave much room for reasonable doubt,” he said. “If I see clear reasonable doubt, I cannot in good conscience file criminal charges and try to convince a judge or jury otherwise.”