Massachusetts Teens Charged for Creating Racist Mock Slave Auction on Snapchat

Six students were suspended and charged after school officials became aware of the Snapchat group that included "henious" language and threats against people of color.

Group of people standing, each holding a smartphone, in a social gathering
Xavier Lorenzo / Getty Images
Group of people standing, each holding a smartphone, in a social gathering

Six middle school students from Massachusetts were charged after creating a violently racist Snapchat group.

According to NBC News, 8th-grade students from Southwick Regional School (about 104 miles southwest of Boston) were allegedly involved in a “hateful, racist online” Snapchat discussion between Feb. 8 and 9 that involved “heinous” language and threats of violence towards people of color.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni wrote in a statement on Facebook that the messages included “derogatory pictures and videos” and a “mock slave auction” directed at two particular juveniles. 

School authorities were notified about the offensive chat on Feb. 9, which led to several of the students being suspended in an “emergency removal,” per state law. Two students were suspended for 25 days, and another was suspended for 45 days.

The district attorney says he became aware of the incident on Feb. 15 and called the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit to investigate.

All six students were charged with threatening to commit a crime, while two of them were also charged with interference with civil rights, NBC News reports. One of the two teens was also hit with a witness interference charge.

“Hatred and racism have no place in this community. And where this behavior becomes criminal, I will ensure that we act, and act with swift resolve, as we did here, to uncover it and bring it to the light of justice,” Gulluni said in his statement. “There is no question that the alleged behavior of these six juveniles is vile, cruel, and contemptible. Seeing it, and facing the reality that these thoughts, that this ugliness, can exist within middle school students, here, in this community, in 2024 is discouraging, unsettling, and deeply frustrating.”

Latest in Life