A 12-year-old Kansas boy is facing a felony charge after he allegedly used a racial slur and hit an 11-year-old Black girl with a pipe.
Last Friday, the girl, Nevaeh Thomas, was playing with her friends at an apartment complex in Shawnee when the boy walked up and used a racial slur toward her, according to news reports. After Thomas told the boy “my Black is beautiful,” he hit her with a metal pipe.
The blow caused Thomas to lose consciousness and she was left with several injuries. A GoFundMe campaign created by her mother, Brandi Stewart, showed several pictures of the girl’s battered face.
“She suffered from a concussion. She has stitches inside and outside of her cheek. She lost her tooth,” Stewart said during an interview on August 31. The boy was charged with aggravated battery and is under house arrest. He was not identified due to his age. He is white, according to KHSB.
Thomas addressed the incident during a news conference on Sept. 3, reported KSHB.
“All I want to say about this is we need to stop hate [and] racism,” the preteen said. “It’s wrong, and it’s wrong to hurt people with words and weapons. I think kids need to get together and talk about racism. It’s OK if we’re different, we have different opinions — but it’s not OK to hate and judge each other on their color and their skin.”
“I think we should start talking about these things before another kid gets hurt because they have the wrong skin color,” Thomas added.
Stewart is glad the boy was charged for attacking her daughter but she hopes he receives help for his violent tendencies.
“He’s only 12 years old. I want to believe that there is hope and that if he does get good help that he can learn from this incident and learn that hate and violence is not healthy,” she said during the conference.
“We need to tell [our children] how expressions of hate can make others feel and how they can leave scars that last a lifetime,” Stewart added. “We need to make sure our children have healthy ways to resolve conflict, and we need to model these behaviors for them as best we can.”