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Racial Tensions Mount At Haywood High School Following Social Media Threats

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - More than 200 students protested outside a Mid-South school after they say racial threats were posted on social media. 

In the posts, Haywood High students used the "N" word and made comments that certain people should be hanged.

Art Garrett, the Associate Superintendent for Haywood County Schools, told Local 24 the district found out about the posts late Sunday morning, even though the posts were made nearly two weeks ago.

Haywood High student Malik Green said, "We thought that they were our friends."

More than 200 Haywood High school students protested outside their school Monday, demanding justice.

Screen shots of racial threats posted to social media started circling Sunday. In the posts, the "N word" was used and comments were made about hanging black people and white girls who date black guys.

Facebook live posts have been dominating social media.

Green told Local 24, "The boys they didn't get no punishment."

The District attorney's office will not file criminal charges against the boys who made the comments.

The boys could face punishment at school. Garrett said the district is reviewing all the findings to determine what actions will be taken.

Students say they'll protest until the boys who posted the comments are punished.

A parent of a Haywood High student, Sylvain Kinnon said, "Racism is nothing new. This is something we have to deal with in our society. It is an ugly part of our history. We don't want it to be a part of our future, so we gonna stop it."

The Haywood County School District released a statement that safety is officials number one concern.

They are looking into the matter, and say hatred and racism have no place at Haywood High.


Statement from Haywood County Schools: 

The Superintendent of Haywood County Schools, Joey Hassell, has authorized an in-depth investigation into allegations of social media posts concerning Haywood High School.  The investigation is fully supported by the Haywood County Board of Education. 

The scope of the investigation will concern those who made the posts and those who were aware of the posts and failed to report pursuant to the Haywood County Board of Education policies and procedures.   

The investigation is underway and is anticipated to take place over the remainder of the week. The Board of Education cannot legally comment on any investigation concerning its students. 

As Superintendent Hassell has previously stated, hatred, racism, and bigotry has no place in our school district.   

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


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