Cross Burning Shakes Wash. Town


Someone burned a cross on the manicured front lawn of Paston Jason Martin’s Arlington, Wash. home early Wednesday, the Seattle P-I reports.

Martin said his 17-year-old son had earlier been subject to racial slurs at school, including the n-word and threats of violence.

Arlington police investigators say they have no suspects in the incident early Wednesday morning, which is classified as malicious harassment, a felony. The cross was about 3 feet by 5 feet, held together with duct tape.

“A fair number of our leads are involving high school students,” Lt. Terry Quintrall said.

At least one student has been suspended for racial harassment at Arlington High School in the current school year, and at least one the previous year, said Warren Hopkins, assistant superintendent for the Arlington School District.

The district is nearly 90 percent white, with 63 blacks among its 5,306 students. Blacks made up only 1 percent of the city’s 11,713 residents, according to the 2000 Census.

Yesterday at Arlington High, where Martin’s son is a sophomore, students were told that the district does not tolerate such harassment and encourages students to come forward if they have any information.

Police Chief John Gray and Mayor Margaret Larson, a lifelong resident, said they could not remember a similar incident ever occurring in Arlington.


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