Racist text messages to Arlington student were a hoax, officials say
Arlington authorities said Wednesday that an Ottoson Middle School student who claimed that he received racist text messages from another student had made up the entire incident.
Last week, Arlington police said they were investigating an allegation that a 12-year-old girl who attends Ottoson had sent texts containing racial epithets to the boy.
In addition, the boy’s mother told the Globe at the time that the girl sent the messages to her son with the intent that he show them to his friend at Ottoson, a boy of Indian descent. The texts included derogatory references to the Indian child’s heritage. The mother had forwarded some of the messages to the Globe.
But in a joint statement Wednesday, Police Chief Frederick Ryan and Schools Superintendent Kathleen Bodie said the boy who claimed to have received the texts from the girl lied about the incident.
“Following an investigation, Arlington Police determined that the student who claimed to have received the hateful messages had created the narrative and fabricated the story,” the statement said.
Officials said that while no charges have been filed, police are working with the School Department to determine the “appropriate corrective action.”
“The allegation of racist texts being sent from one middle school student to another was concerning and hurtful to the entire community and I am disappointed that a student would falsify a report of this nature,” Bodie said in the statement. “Thank you to the Arlington Police Department for its full and thorough investigation.”
Ryan said investigators took the matter seriously.
“We’re happy to have been able to bring it to a quick resolution,” he said.