A white Naperville, Illinois high school student will serve two years probation and 100 hours of community service after posting a Craigslist ad offering up his Black classmate as a “slave for sale” in November 2019.
According to the Daily Herald, the student recently pleaded guilty to two felony hate crime charges. He was a 14-year-old freshman at the time he took a picture of his classmate and posted it on the online classified ad site. The ad also featured a racial slur, per the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.
More from the Daily Herald:
“Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society and will not be tolerated, regardless of the accused’s age,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the news release.
“Studies show that the victims of hate crimes can suffer from depression, increased anxiety, low self-esteem and insecurity among other things. Everyone deserves the right to feel safe and welcome in our communities, and my office will continue to charge and prosecute anyone, regardless of age, who engages in this type of behavior.”
Not too long after the white student was charged with a hate crime in 2019, the Naperville Sun spoke to the Black student’s mother about how the Craigslist ad impacted her son. Tamara Wallace said the two students used to be friends, but they had a falling out at some point that culminated in the ad being posted.
Per the Naperville Sun:
She said she received a call from the mother of the boy who allegedly posted the ad. The other mother said there was an incident at school involving their boys and her son had posted something about Wallace’s son on social media, Wallace said. The other mother described it as a bad prank, Wallace said.
Wallace said she immediately returned messages left by the high school, and the Craigslist ad was described to her by a dean of students.
“That just floored me. I was sad and heartbroken for my son,” she said. “I thought, ‘What’s going on? How could this happen to my baby?’”
Wallace said she was told by the school district that the other boy received a two-day suspension. She said the boy’s actions deserve more than a school suspension, and she is thankful to the Naperville Police Department and the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office for following through with charges.
“I feel bad for him,” Wallace said of her son’s former friend. “But he’s not the person he used to be; I don’t see the old person anymore.”