Children at an elementary school in Ohio were assaulted after they refused to utter the phrase “black lives matter” last week, according to multiple reports.
The assaults occurred on Friday, Feb. 10, in the community of Springfield, Ohio, at Kenwood Elementary School.
According to what police have released, a number of black students at the school targeted their white peers and demanded they recite the political statement that is tied to the neo-Marxist political and racial movement of the same name.
Students who complied were filmed making the statement.
Those who did not were hit and thrown to the ground.
A police report obtained by WHIO-TV contained a quote from the principal of Kenwood Elementary, who explained what happened.
The principal told officers that “a group of black students had gathered several white students on a specific spot of the playground and forced them to state ‘Black Lives Matter’ against their will.”
The police report added students who tried to avoid uttering the statement were “chased down and escorted, dragged, or carried to the playground” where they were assaulted.
The parents of one of the children attacked spoke to WKEF-TV about the incident.
“He was thrown to the ground,” Krystal Harr said of her 11-year-old son, who was among the children who resisted the group.
The child’s father, Daniel Harr, commented on the black-on-white racial dynamics of the attacks.
“Just because it’s reversed, it’s still not all right,” he told the outlet.
The couple’s son did not report his assault to them. They found out about it three days later when the school called them after it conducted its own investigation.
Krystal said her son has had an aversion to going to school since his attack.
“He’s not excited to go to school at all,” she said. “He’s terrified.”
“I don’t understand how it got as far as it did,” she added.
WHIO reached out to the Springfield School District for comment on the assaults.
The district provided a statement that explained it is “committed to providing our students with a safe learning environment, where they look forward to attending every day.”
“The District is aware of a situation that occurred at Kenwood Elementary,” the statement added. “We are working closely with the Springfield Police Division on this matter to ensure that we maintain that safe environment.”
“Because this is now a police matter, no additional information is available at this time,” the statement concluded.
Police are currently investigating whether to charge those involved in the attacks with hate crimes.