While Rapid City police investigate the incidents, Native American advocates, the mother of one victim and a middle school principal search for solutions to the racial attacks.
"It's bad," North Middle School principal Jeanne Burckhard said. "Rapid City people just close their eyes."
Opening eyes to discrimination is something the Society for the Advancement of Native American Issues, commonly called SANI-T, is committed to doing, according to director Laurette Pourier.
SANI-T plans to host a community meeting in April to address the recent attacks.
In initial conversations, SANI-T members have expressed their concern that the consequences for the teenagers must be meaningful and will involve their parents.
"Something to change their hearts and minds," Pourier said.
Candace Estes, a member of People Against Racism, said the incidents are not isolated or rare.
"It's like the tip of an iceberg," Estes said. Every once in a while it will push to the surface, but even when it's invisible, the rest of the iceberg is lurking below the surface, she said.
Community service probably would be a great penalty for those who committed the crimes. It would teach them that Indians are--surprise!--human beings just like everyone else. That Indians are thinking about eating, sleeping, and paying the rent, not whooping, scalping, and getting government handouts.
In the TV reality series 30 Days, one conservative Christian man spent 30 days with a Muslim couple and another spent 30 days with a gay man. Both men inevitably learned that the people they feared and hated were normal. A community-service sentence could produce similar results.
For more on the subject, see Highlights of the US Report to the UN on Racism.