It’s beginning to sound like a Mississippi high school was the scene of a modern-day hate crime, something so offensive and horrific that it could have come from the pages of a pre-integration newspaper. Allegedly, a group of white students at Mississippi’s Stone High School threw a noose around the neck of a black classmate, and then one of the instigators “pulled the noose tight.” The incident, which the NAACP is calling a hate crime, allegedly took place on October 13.
The victim and one of his reported attackers, the one who is accused of actually pulling on the noose, were both members of the high school’s football team at the time that the incident took place, reports CNN. In the aftermath of the Mississippi high school hate crime, the attacker has reportedly not been allowed to participate as part off the football team.
However, aside from a single alleged attacker losing his place on the football team, no other punishments have reportedly been meted out by the Mississippi high school, something that has the NAACP crying “foul.”
According to a statement by the NAACP, they want the federal government to get involved in the investigation of the alleged hate crime. The organization claims that the high school has failed to properly punish the alleged perpetrators of the unthinkable act, failed to report the alleged hate crime to law enforcement, and have not told the African-American victim’s family how those who attacked their son would be punished for their reprehensible actions.
“They failed to protect this student throughout this ordeal. Allowing students to commit blatant hate crimes without severe consequences, sends a message to students that their safety and well being are not valuable enough to be protected.”
The superintendent of the Stone County School District has spoken out vaguely about the incident, refusing to comment on specifics and giving what many are calling a “canned” response to a serious issue that is putting strain on an area in Southern Mississippi already struggling with strained race relations. According to Superintendent Inita Owens, the Mississippi high school is taking the alleged hate crime “very seriously.”
“[The Stone School District] takes all matters involving students very seriously and will do everything within its power to make sure that all policies and procedures were adhered to and that all of its students have a safe place to receive an education.”
The principal of the Mississippi high school where the alleged hate crime took place just weeks ago has unequivocally refused to comment to the media regarding the situation.
Mississippi’s NAACP president, Derrick Johnson, has said that the county where the high school is located is dealing with a seriously “tense” racial climate, adding that there are few African-American residents in Wiggins, and that many black residents are hesitant to use the term “hate crime” or even draw attention to racially motivated crimes.
“There is a level of fear and intimidation in this county. It’s a very small African-American community, a very close-knit community. As a result of that, people are very cautious around calling attention to racial incidents.”
@AdamSerwer I would lose my mind if my child had to endure this. I hope his family sues the students, school and pd into the pits of hell.— Boo-tiful Wickedness (@Mtn_Fox) October 25, 2016
@CNN why don't you report on the rappers that talk about hating and killing whites?— Andrew Moses (@ApolloMoses23) October 25, 2016
@latimes we are moving backwards as a whole as a country we need to put an end to this !!!!— DAVID BRENDA DJ RIOS (@djrios0113) October 25, 2016
Some other locals seem to agree with Johnson about both the racial tension in their community as well as how the hate crime at the Mississippi high school should be handled. In fact, it appears that many in the community don’t believe that African-American students and white students are held to the same standard at Stone High School. Some say that the Mississippi community has been dealing with similar issues for years.
“The FBI needs to come down here and investigate this school system because this stuff has been swept under the rug for years.”
The Washington Post reports that the alleged Mississippi high school hate crime victim is a sophomore at the school, and that when his parents initially approached the Stone County Sheriff’s Department to file an official report about the abuse he endured at the Mississippi high school they were discouraged. According to the student’s parents, they were advised not to file a report because one of the attackers involved in the hate crime is the child of a former cop.
“He wasn’t trying to discourage her. He just wanted her to be sure.”
The Stone County Sheriff’s Department has allegedly denied those claims, saying that they had a different reason altogether for trying to convince the parents of the Mississippi high school student not to file an official complaint regarding the alleged hate crime. Sheriff’s Captain Ray Boggs said that the parents were advised not to file the report in order to avoid “resentment” and “troubles” for their son at the Mississippi high school. Captain Boggs, incidentally, is himself an African-American.
Joy Reid— CHARLIE'S POLITICAL (@moonlight26a) October 25, 2016
An incident complete with nooses, confederate flags, and throwback racism. In Mississippi. And, scene. https://t.co/WgpWPE65On
According to the Mississippi NAACP, that kind of attitude is precisely the problem and precisely why they want the noose incident investigated as a hate crime by the FBI.
“No child should be walking down the hall or in a locker room and be accosted with a noose around their neck. This is 2016, not 1916. This is America. This is a place where children should go to school and feel safe in their environment.”
Local law enforcement says that since the alleged attackers behind the so-called hate crime are all juveniles, any charges against them will be handled in the juvenile court system and remain private and sealed. Derrick Johnson of the NAACP says that’s not harsh enough, and he wants those involved in what he calls a hate crime to be charged as adults, adding that the Mississippi high school students had been involved in at least one additional race-related incident just this year. The same group of students reportedly behind the alleged hate crime reportedly showed up at the Mississippi high school “brandishing Confederate flags on their vehicles.”
Additionally, Johnson wants all of the students involved in the noose attack hate crime at the Mississippi high school to be expelled.
[Featured Image by Fer Gregory/Shutterstock]