AFRICANGLOBE – Four white Mississippi students put a noose around a Black high school student’s neck and “yanked backwards,” according to the Mississippi NAACP.
“We’re calling on federal investigators to view this as a racial hate crime….No child should be in fear of going to school,”,” said President Derrick Johnson. “No child should be walking down the hall going to the locker room and be accosted with a noose. This is 2016, not 1916.”
According to Johnson, the attack occurred in a locker room during a break from football practice. He did not disclose the victim’s identity, nor did he comment on whether the noose left any scars or burns on the teen’s neck.
At least one of the accused students has since been kicked off of the football team. However, as of now there has been no criminal action taken by the school district or Sheriff’s Dept. against the accused attackers.
“I feel like it escalated from them allowing kids to bring Confederate flags” to school, said a concerned mother from the area. Mississippi is the only state in the U.S. to feature the Confederate flag on its state flag.
“It’s probably one of the hardest cases I’ll ever handle in my career, because of the nature of it,” said Stone County Sheriff’s Capt. Ray Boggs, who is Black. “Have I ever had to deal with something like this? No, not from a high school.”
Johnson said that that the boy’s mother was cautioned against filing a police report by a deputy after the incident, because one of her son’s attackers has a father who was once a police officer. Sheriff Boggs denied this, but did say that he told her that filing criminal charges may turn the student body against her son.
Superintendent of education for Stone County schools Inita Owen has yet to respond to requests for comment. As of now, no criminal charges have been filed against the students.
“They failed to protect this student throughout this ordeal,” the NAACP said. “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.”
By: Nathan Wellman