Nearly 200 students walked out of classes at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tenn. on Monday, Dec. 4, to protest alleged racist social media posts threatening to “string a n—-r up.”
Students said it was members of the school baseball team who crafted the racially charged messages and used racial expletives to describe their Black classmates, local station WREG reported. Students also criticized the lack of action from school administrators, who they’ve accused of trying to sweep the incident under the rug by having the alleged perpetrators write a 10-page paper as punishment.
District officials weren’t able to confirm that claim, however.
On Monday, hundreds of students staged a sit-in at the school before walking out of the building but remaining on school property, according to the news station.
“Today we all come together to fight against racism,” said student Malik Green, who had a hand in organizing the protest. “We just can’t stand for it anymore and we needed to take action.”
Green told WREG he was “speechless” when he saw the social media posts, especially since these were students he interacted with on a daily basis.
In a statement posted on the district’s Facebook page Monday, Superintendent Joey Hassell said he was aware of the incident at Haywood High, and green lit an in-depth investigation into the allegations to determine who authored the racist messages. The probe is expected to continue for the remainder of the week, he said.
“Based on review of the DA’s office, it is my understanding that there will be no criminal charges,” Hasseell wrote in a separate post. “However, the school district will review the findings of the HHS investigation and determine what actions will be taken. A thorough review will occur.”
“Our job is to educate and protect all students,” he added. “Hatred, racism, and bigotry have no place in our school district.”