Haywood High Officials Suspended & Students Behind Social Media Posts Could Face Expulsion

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Haywood High School’s principal and vice-principal are suspended without pay, as the Haywood County School District investigates social media posts which led to student walkouts and tensions.

In the posts, some Haywood High students used the 'n' word and suggested certain people should be hanged. More than 200 students and parents protested outside the school Monday and early Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon, the superintendent met with parents and members of the Haywood County NAACP. That meeting at the school lasted about an hour.

Organizers in the room told Local 24 they reiterated their two main demands to district leaders: one - expel the students who posted the threats, and two - ensure safety for all students on campus. 

"It's us coming together and to fight against racism, which is obviously real,” says student Malik Green.

Students have rallied against the social media thread, where a group of Haywood High students used the 'n' word and made comments about hanging African-American people.

"When a person reaches to that level of hatred to want to end someone's life, it's different than saying we want to fight,” says Pastor Undrae Johnson, with Faith Deliverance Church.

 

Pastor Johnson and others met with the Haywood County Superintendent Tuesday afternoon, and said district leaders told him expulsion for those students could be on the table.

"I would say expulsion because suspension is really, again, a slap on the hand,” says Johnson. “They are looking at all the different policies, we even addressed some of the things from the state of Tennessee as it relates to threats.”

The associate superintendent told Local 24 the investigation should be done by the end of the week. He added the students who participated in Monday's walkout will not be disciplined.

Parents said those who demonstrated Monday and Tuesday will be back in class as normal Wednesday.

Statement by Joey Hassell, Superintendent, Haywood County Schools    

Haywood County Schools’ district leadership met with the Haywood County Branch of the    NAACP as well as parent and student representatives earlier today. The meeting was held to outline    next steps.            
    
Next steps include:         

 A  full  investigation of  this incident and a written report at  its conclusion.  Presently, district    office is completing an in-depth and complete investigation. The investigation is inclusive of the    following board policies: § 6.304 Student Discrimination,Harassment, Bullying, Cyber-bullying    and Intimidation § 6.305  Student Concerns, Complaints,and Grievances § 6.309 Zero    Tolerance Offenses(Electronic    Threats) § 6.313 Discipline Procedures once the investigation    is complete, Haywood County Schools will release a report of the results.        

Haywood County Schools will release allowable information under federal and state  law.        

 The immediate removal of all students involved on the baseball team and others, who    are    responsible for making these life threating comments/remarks, from the school system.    

The district office is currently completing an in-depth and complete investigation regarding this    incident that ensures that board policy 6.302 Procedural Due Process is followed.          

 Once    the    investigation    is    complete,    decisions    will    be    made    in    alignment    with    board    policies:   As    previously    referenced,    Haywood    County    Schools    cannot    legally    comment    on    any    individual    students.  A  full  investigation of  the    administration/staff    involved    in    this    incident.  

  The Haywood High School principal and an assistant principal have been suspended without    pay pending the outcome of  the investigation. The district office is currently working  to    determine the timeline, conversations, and decisions made in reference to this incident.        Interviews will be completed with all necessary Haywood High School personnel.  

As    previously    stated,    hatred,    racism,    and    bigotry    have    no    place    in    our   school    district.  District    administration,    Haywood    County’s    NAACP,    and    parent   and    student    representatives are committed to working together to provide peace andcivility    for    the citizens and especially our children that reside in Haywood    County.          

 The priority of Haywood County Schools is  the  education of  all  students; therefore, school will    be in regular session tomorrow. Accordingly, the  board encourages families to help ensure students presence in class.

 

 


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