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Hate Crime Targets 13-Year-Old Lunenburg Football Player

LUNENBURG (CBS) --- Words of hate were spray painted on a home and now, the crime is impacting an entire community.

The graffiti was discovered at the home of 13-year-old Lunenburg High School football player Isaac Phillips.

School officials have postponed football games - including the Thanksgiving game- until they find out who is responsible.

"We're not sure if it happened Thursday or when it even happened," mom Andrea Brazier said.

Isaac's mother is white and his father is African American.

"I was disgusted, it is my child and our house," Brazier said. "And it is something that you don't want to hear."

His family believes he has been targeted by his teammates in the past. First, his shirt was missing and cleats thrown in the trash.

Then, the tires on his bike were slashed.

"I'm frustrated that someone would use that word in 2013. I thought we moved on from this," Isaac's father said. "I mean that shows you the person and how they feel about it."

Police and the FBI are investigating because this is now a hate crime.

As for Isaac, he wants to transfer to another school.

The community is planning a response Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the town gazebo. It's an opportunity to speak out against hate and in favor of diversity, tolerance and mutual respect.

The Anti-Defamation League's New England region office released a statement Sunday condemning the racist graffiti.

"This brazen attack on the home of a high school football player warrants everyone's condemnation," said Robert Trestan, ADL New England region director. "All of us should be disturbed by this case. Our children retreat to their homes every day because of the safety it offers. Too often, hate crimes shatter our communities' sense of safety.

"This case is indicative of how school bullying can quickly escalate to a hate crime and civil rights violations, making it a community wide concern. All of us have a role to play in providing comfort and being clear that these actions are completely unacceptable."


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