NAACP: Noose put around neck of black student in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The state NAACP says white students at a south Mississippi high school put a noose around the neck of a black student and “yanked backward.”

Ayana Kinnel, spokeswoman for the civil rights group, says Monday that the incident took place the afternoon of Oct. 13 at the Stone County High School field house in Wiggins.

Names and ages of the students involved weren’t immediately released Monday. The Stone County NAACP president, Robert James, says the black student is a football player.

Kinnel says that according to a statement from the black student’s family, he returned to practice after the incident.

Inita Owen, the superintendent of education for Stone County schools, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Below is the full statement from the NAACP:

The Mississippi State Conference NAACP is outraged at the actions of the school administrators of Stone County High School after white students threw a noose around the neck of an African American student and yanked backward. The students have not been expelled and the victim’s parents are not fully aware of any punishment.

The school’s own policy calls for the automatic explusion of any student commiting a violent act against another student. Yet, to our knowledge, this policy has not been adhered to in this case. The victim’s mother was told by school officials the discipline action of the students could not be disclosed in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, FERPA states the victim of a violent crime are entitled to be informed of the final results of any displinary proceedings. The law also makes disclosure exceptions in cases of health and safety emergancies like this one.

Due to the violent nature of the crime, it is the school’s policy to notify the authorities when such an act occurs. There is no record of the incident being reported to police officials. The school officials at the Stone County High School as well as the school district have mishandled this situation. They failed to protect this student throughout this ordeal. Allowing students to commit blatant hate crimes without sever consequences, sends a message to students that their safety and well being are not valuable enough to be protected.

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