The five juveniles, who were in sixth to eighth grade at Lyons Creek Middle School, were arrested on charges of battery and evidence of prejudice while committing a battery, a third-degree felony.
In Florida, evidencing prejudice while committing an offense is considered a hate crime.
The incident unfolded Wednesday morning at the Coconut Creek Recreation Complex, about 40 miles north of Miami, according to arrest reports from the Coconut Creek Police Department. The center is across the street from the school.
According to the arrest reports, the students approached the victims, yelled “It’s Opposite Day!” and “brown power!” and beat them. The arrest reports noted that the comments were made before and during the alleged attack.
One of the victims ran up to an officer at the recreation complex crying, saying he had been battered, one arrest report said.
In 2020, the United States experienced the highest number of reported hate crimes in 12 years, and the main victims were Black people, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).