NAACP Calls for Federal Investigation into Alleged Hate Crime
Today in Stone County, members of the NAACP are calling for justice in a disciplinary case which they say school officials have mishandled. News 25’s Hank Davis was on the scene and brings us the details.
Members of the Mississippi NAACP are standing beside the parents of a high school student in Stone County, seeking justice in the wake of an alleged hate crime. Derrick Johnson with the Mississippi NAACP said, “Just recently their son was assaulted in school. He was assaulted in a way in which individuals took the liberty to lasso a rope around his neck and pull the noose tight.”
“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,” said Johnson.
According to NAACP officials, none of the students involved were expelled. They demand that the school immediately handle this situation in accordance to their policy which calls for expulsion. If this doesn’t take place, the NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into the incident. Stone County school officials have been unavailable for comment.
During a press conference, members of the community were very vocal saying that this isn’t the first time that race has affected the disciplinary actions of this school system. Many of those in attendance shared pictures and videos of Confederate flags being flown on cars while on school property. Stone County resident Tim Hughes said, “I heard they told the football kids if they talk about it, they won’t get to play in the game. So, a lot of those kids won’t say anything.”
Stone County resident Ora Jackson “The FBI needs to come down here and investigate this school system because this stuff has been swept under the rug for years.”
Some feel the school handles discipline of black and white people differently. One mother wants to know why her son is missing out on time in the classroom over having the word “blood” written on his shoes, but the students involved in this incident are still roaming the halls. Kimberly Elzy believes students are not punished equally. She said, “I mean, I can look past black and white you know. Just everybody deserves a fair opportunity.”