Two of the families whose sons were present when a watermelon and racial slur were hurled at the home of a black classmate in December came forward this week to apologize unequivocally for the actions of their offspring.
Due to normal law enforcement protocol, no contact between the suspects and victim is permitted, says a statement from Meldie Moore, a Laguna Beach lawyer who represents two of the five Laguna Beach High School students questioned in the Dec. 27 incident. None of the boys have been publicly identified because they are minors; they served a week-long suspension from school.
Further, the family of the young man targeted specifically asked her clients to not apologize or contact them verbally or in writing, Moore said.
For the first time, some of the parents involved issued their own statement in response to the many inquiries they have received, Moore said.
Their letter follows:
To our Community and Friends:
We are the parents of two of the five boys identified as participating in the incident on Dec. 27, 2016.
Pastor Jay Grant’s letter to the editor encouraged us to reach out to our community to apologize. Part of any teachable moment is acknowledging one’s wrongdoing to the persons offended and an attempt to make amends. We have been asked not to apologize, in person or in writing, at the family’s request. Both of our families respect this and hope the forgiveness and healing will begin when this family is ready. Our sons have written sincere, unsent letters to their classmate in hopes that one day they will be accepted. But we cannot wait any longer to apologize to you, our community.
What happened over the winter break is offensive and unacceptable. We are appalled at the events that took place and do not regard this is as a stupid joke or boyish prank. We are ashamed that our kids are associated with this situation, which has hurt a family and brought unwanted attention to our community. Our families are truly and sincerely sorry. We hope you can accept that this comes from our hearts.
Many stories are circulating, and some oft-repeated details are inaccurate.
This was not a premeditated plan by five boys. They did not go to this classmate’s house directly from the store. They did not chant his name or try to lure him out.
The five boys planned to “TP” a female classmate’s house. They bought toilet paper, one fruit (the watermelon), one vegetable and sardines to place around her house with the toilet paper. No eggs were purchased. They drove straight to her house from the store. They could not TP the girl’s house because it was too exposed and the lights were on. So they chose another classmate who lived close by and drove up quietly to TP. When that house also was not suitable to TP, one suggested they throw the watermelon. Two boys objected and tried to stop it. One boy used an offensive racial epithet as they drove away. It was over in seconds. What was intended as a night to prank a different classmate turned ugly in a moment.
Please accept our sincere apology so we can all move toward healing and, at some point, a return to harmony.
In hopes of reconciliation,