CALGARY — The lawyer for one of two youths who pleaded guilty in a prank spawned by the TV show “South Park” says it was simply a joke which went too far involving otherwise good kids.
The teens, then 15, were part of a group that attacked a red-headed Grade 10 student as part of “Kick a Ginger Day” last Nov. 20.
There were several incidents across North America on the same day after word was spread on Facebook.
The victim in the Calgary attack suffered minor bruising and didn’t need medical attention.
The two teens, one of whom is himself a red-head, pleaded guilty to assault on Friday.
Defence lawyer Diana Mah said her client has taken many steps to show his remorse and was suspended from school and grounded for nearly one month.
She said he donated to the Boys and Girls Club and wrote a letter to his victim.
“He has red hair himself and he himself was the subject of some kicking and punching this year,” Mah told court.
She asked for an absolute discharge for her client while Crown prosecutor Bina Border, conceding steps were taken to show remorse, wants a conditional discharge and for the youth to enrol in an anti-bullying program.
Harry Van Harten, representing the other teen, also wants an absolute discharge for his client who was said to be the ringleader that day.
Nearly two dozen students were suspended, with just the two charged.
Van Harten said it was an unfortunate incident for the victim and the teens before the courts.
“Every high school has your troublemaker kids ... these kids don’t normally darken a courtroom,” he said outside court.
“It started off as a joke that got out of hand.”
Youth court Judge Lynn Cook-Stanhope will deliver her decision April 21.