Black students at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee walked out of class on Monday to protest a racist threat to “string a n***er up,” which was posted on social media allegedly from members of the school’s baseball team, WREG-TV reported.
“Today we all come together to fight against racism. We just can’t stand for it anymore and we needed to take action,” said Malik Green, a student who helped organize the protest.
Roughly 200 students participated in a school sit-in, followed by scores of them walking out of the building to stage a rally on the campus. The protesters said they were outraged that school administrators have been slow to respond to the threat of violence. Making matters worse, word was circulating that the offenders were directed to write a 10-page paper as punishment for publishing the message. District school officials did not confirm that the students were given that assignment, the news out said.
Haywood County Schools Superintendent Joey Hassell learned on Sunday about the social media post, according to a statement posted to the school district’s Facebook page. Hassell later released an updated statement saying that he 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.” He added that those who published the post—as well as those who knew about it but kept silent—would be punished. In an earlier statement, Hassell said he contacted the Brownsville Police Department, which then consulted with the district attorney’s office about the incident. The district attorney, however, has no plans to pursue criminal charges, Hassell stated.