White High School Baseball Players Threaten to Hang Black Students

Following student protests at the Tennessee high school, school administrators were suspended.

White students at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tenn., were messaging each other through private group chats and making threats against Black students, including “stringing a ni**er up.”

“So no go on stringing a ni**er up?” one student wrote, according to a screenshot obtained by a local news channel.

Another responded, “I mean we can find one Black guy and make an example for sure.”

“I say we hang the ni**er lovers and make an example of them,” another student commented.

Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls said it was white baseball players from the high school involved in the group chat, The Jackson Sun reports. He said they suggested hanging Black students because they did not approve of relationships between Black males and white females.

When news of the group chat circulated, hundreds of students walked out of class in protest on Monday and were joined by parents and members of the community who showed up at the school.

“Today we all come together to fight against racism,” Malik Green, a student who helped organize the protest, told WREG-TV. “We just can’t stand for it anymore and we needed to take action.”

Students were protesting the response of the school administrators, Principal Jerry Pyron and Assistant Principal Tim Seymour, who reprimanded the baseball players on the group chat by assigning them a 10-page paper. Nothing was said or done in regard to protecting the Black students under threat.

Kyler Douglas first posted the screenshots of the messages on Facebook. He saw his younger brother’s name was mentioned in the chat, according to WBBJ-TV.

“I just want everyone to be aware of what’s going on in the school,” Douglas said. “And the kids are scared, because obviously they already had it and nobody posted it.”

On Monday, Haywood County Schools posted a statement from Superintendent Joey Hassell on Facebook.

“I was made aware of the social media post regarding Haywood High School on Sunday morning,” Hassell said. “I have requested a detailed report of the investigation to date from the HHS administration.”

He also said there would be no criminal charges against the students involved.

“I have also been in communication with Chief Diebold and he has consulted with the District Attorney’s office on the content of the message,” Hassell said.

“Based on review of the DA’s office, it is my understanding that there will be no criminal charges; however, the school district will review the findings of the HHS investigation and determine what actions will be taken.”

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“I was just mostly shocked and I wanted to ask them why they did it,” said Kylan Smallwood, the team’s quarterback and only Black varsity player.

About 200 students protested on Tuesday morning as well. Protest organizers, parents, pastor Undrae Johnson and local NAACP officials had a meeting with leaders of the school district on Tuesday afternoon and their requests were met, according to WBBJ-TV.

Pyron and Seymour have been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. There will be no retaliation for students protesting, and Hassell said the students behind the messages would be punished.

School leaders said they couldn’t discuss student punishment. But Johnson said they were told the students involved were suspended as well.

“They told us the students would not be welcomed in the school until the investigation is complete,” he said. “And what happens after that, we’ll see as they complete their work in that.”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    Haywood County was historically one of the very few black-majority counties in Tennessee. I had the honor to study under Dr. Currie P. Boyd, who was a dollar-a-year man for the NAACP in that county during the civil rights movement, and would tell tales of being jailed on charges like “improper tail lights.”

    When black candidates started winning elections there, some white people moved out, or threatened to, and generally acted like it was the end of the world. Tensions remain high.

  • If Kyler Douglas’ brother’s name was suggested in the chat as a potential victim — and this was, apparently, a group chat that was widely-disseminated — the person posting his name should be prosecuted for making a terroristic threat and/or engaging in hate speech.

  • Principal Pyron and Asst. Principal Seymour should be appropriately reprimanded for not responding to this threat against African-American students in a more urgent and comprehensive manner. The students are a bunch of losers and they should be expelled from school permanently. BLM

    • I meant to say the other students who were threatening to hang a ni**ger, are a bunch of losers.

  • Black kids suspended for every infraction real and imagined under the sun.

    White kids are just being kids. Boys
    will be boys. No harm done.

    Till the shooting starts.

    Given white male students’ decades’ long histories of shooting up schools, and the proliferation of guns in Texas, and recent mass shooting by white men, you’d think the damned idiot adminstration would be terrified for their own damned safety and put the school on lockdown.

    It damned sure would be if black people had the reputation for school and mass shootings.

    *Everyone* should be concerned. When grade school students are manhandled for having a nail clipper, since when are nearly grownass men making terroristic threats at, to, near, over, around a school not a matter of police concern?

    Oh? Can’t ruin the little darlings’ futures with an arrest?

    Oh, I get it.

    When are these mouth breathers going to realize, this %$&# didn’t work back in the 1920’s and one hundred years later still isn’t going to work?

    Talk about low IQ’s. Maybe there’s more than one kind of intelligence that can’t be measured on paper.


    • And when the shooting starts, if the murderer is a white man, even if he’s wearing Nazi symbols on his jacket (Dylann Roof), he’s a lone wolf. If Black, part of a rabid pack of “Black Identity Extremists.”

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