A Black high school football player in Mississippi alleges that four White students attacked him with a noose.
According to the Mississippi NAACP, the unidentified student was in the locker room in Stone County High School in Wiggins, Miss., when he was allegedly lassoed with a noose around his neck and pulled backwards. School officials have not expelled the students involved and the incident has not been reported to the police.
The victim’s mother was discouraged from pressing charges because the father of one of the attackers is a former law enforcement officer. School officials have also failed to inform the mother about discipline against the students who attacked her son.
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Derrick Johnson, state president of the NAACP, told WLOX a Stone County Sheriff’s investigator warned the victim’s mother that she would face intimidation if she pursued charges. “No child should be in fear of going to school. This is 2016, not 1916,” Johnson said.
Sheriff Mike Farmer confirmed the mother talked to Capt. Ray Boggs and told reporters that Boggs was not discouraging the victim’s mother from pressing charges. Boggs added that he was just trying to make sure the mother understood the child would face a lot of scrutiny, stating that in the past, there were families who regretted pressing charges.
According to Johnson, the White students involved in the incident stirred up trouble earlier this year when they came to school with Confederate flags on their cars. He called for the students to be expelled and for federal officials to get involved immediately: “This is America. This is a place where children should feel safe in their environment.”