Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli announced at a news conference Tuesday that following a month-long investigation his office will pursue charges of ethnic intimidation and cyber harassment against a 14-year-old Saucon Valley High School student who allegedly filmed and shared on social media a racist video of a 16-year-old black student, which led to a fight–also caught on film–at the SVHS Homecoming Pep Rally in October, the Morning Call and other media outlets reported.
The black student fought with the white student as a result of the first video–in which the white student reportedly referred to the black student by a racial epithet commonly known as the ‘N-word’ and made derogatory racial comments about him–and was charged by township police with simple asssault, harassment and disorderly conduct; a decision some community members have called one-sided.
Gary Asteak, who represents the family of the black student, said his client was accepted into a juvenile court probationary program which will result in the expungement of his charges if he successfully completes it, the Morning Call reported.
However, Michael Moyer–a lawyer representing the white student and his family–criticized Morganelli’s decision to file the charges and said his client suffered a concussion and other injuries as a result of the assault, and was also suspended from school for three days.
Channel 69 News reported that the video the white student filmed shows the black student eating chicken wings and was shared on the popular teen app Snapchat.
Morganelli said the black student has suffered other harassment at school–including having a Confederate flag thrown on him–and the district has been dealing with a group of high school students who self-identify as a “redneck gang,” Channel 69 News also reported.
Visitors to Saucon Valley High School Tuesday–the first day of classes following the holiday recess–reported seeing numerous television news vans on the campus, including TV news vans from Philadelphia television stations.