Five Florida middle schoolers are facing charges after they allegedly beat up a group of white students based on their skin color.
The attack reportedly took place on Wednesday morning at the Coconut Creek Recreation Center in Coconut Creek, Florida, according to Fox News.
The middle schoolers reportedly yelled things like "It's opposite day" and "brown power" as they beat the other students. One of the students attacked claimed that an assailant said the beating was "revenge" for slavery.
According to ABC 7, four white students between the ages of 11 and 12 years of age were assaulted. The students were allegedly beaten with fists, sticks, and cable cords. No serious injuries were reported.
"This is an extremely rare occurrence in our community. But these are children, and as such, poor judgment can occur," Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal said in a statement.
The attackers were charged with battery, but later had "with prejudice" added to the charge due to the racial nature of the crime. According to ABC 7, the hate crime allegations could trigger a felony count depending on decisions by prosecutors.
"He got out of the car. I think he heard some noises and some kids started saying 'we're going to get revenge on you for what you did in the past' and he got jumped," a father of one of the students who were attacked told ABC 7. "It's concerning that what's going on in the school, and they don't really seem to be doing much about it, and the steps they take don't really protect the kids."