Mississippi NAACP Seeks Investigation of Noose Incident at School

The Mississippi NAACP has called for a federal investigation into the disturbing incident, saying, "These incidents should not be swept under the rug."

Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP in Mississippi, addresses a crowd next to Stacey and Hollis Payton, parents of the alleged victim.

(Reuters) — White students at a Mississippi high school tossed a rope around the neck of a Black student and pulled it tight like a noose, the NAACP said on Monday, asking federal authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

The NAACP made its plea at a news conference with the Black student’s family, saying the student’s mother was discouraged from filing a police report after the October 13 incident and the school district has not officially informed the family of any disciplinary action taken against the white students.

Stone County School District superintendent Inita Owen declined to comment on the incident, saying she would not discuss a student discipline matter with the media.

“I can assure everyone that the Stone County 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,” she said in a statement.

Several of the white students have continued to attend Stone High School, along with the Black student, said Derrick Johnson, president of the state branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

He said the family was told off the record that one student was placed in an alternative setting. As many as four students are accused in the incident.

“This type of behavior should not be tolerated,” Johnson said at a news conference webcast online. “These incidents should not be swept under the rug.”

The student’s mother stood by his side but did not comment. Stone High School is about 40 miles (64 km) north of Biloxi in southern Mississippi.

A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jackson, Mississippi, said it was aware of the situation in Stone County. He would not confirm or deny whether an investigation was under way.

Reuters was unable to confirm with local law enforcement that the mother attempted to file a report.

Johnson said the white students involved had earlier this year come to school displaying Confederate flags from their vehicles. Many see the flag associated with the pro-slavery southern states during the U.S. Civil War as a racist symbol.

Read more @ DiversityInc.com

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  • you can be sure if this has been four african american students against one white student, those four would already be kicked out of school and the white student would already be enjoying a hefty payout from the school system.

    But it is Mississippi, where racist a**holes shot up Emmett Till’s memorial sign so I am not surprised at this injustice. Stay Strong Payton family! There are many true Americans that are standing with you.

    • BB I agreed with all of your comment except “But it is Mississippi”. I understand that Mississippi is a Southern State and it’s history is terrible. However, Mississippi is in AMERICA! And unfortunately these racist incidents are occurring all across AMERICA. Every part of this country is dealing with hateful racist incidents that are happening to Black people right now. Those white kids parents are racist and they are teaching their children to be mean and hateful individuals. That family should fight with every fiber of their being for justice for their child. I would not rest until every single one of those kids were expelled from school and even convicted of a hate crime. This has been a country that has NEVER had a problem trying Black kids as adults and giving them LIFE prison sentences. These kids should go to jail.

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