A Tennessee high school has made an example out of a group of students who thought it’d be a good idea to exchange racist text messages about plans to physically harm Black people.
Earlier this week, Buzfeed published a photo of a group chat that showed several Haywood High School students engaging in a conversation about “stringing up” a Black person and “hanging nigger lovers.” The screenshot of the chat was taken from the Facebook page of former Haywood student Kyler Douglas, who said a friend of his who still attends the school (but was not involved in the exchange) first shared the images with him.
Just three days after nearly 200 of the school’s students staged a walk out in response to the initial handling of the incident by adminisrators, the Haywood County School Board has reportedly suspended the students involved in the alarming group text message, according to the Jackson Sun.
The school’s principal and assistant principal have also been suspended without pay, pending the results of the investigation into the incident, which is currently still underway.
Prior to the 2-day protest which began on December 4, the students responsible for the text messages were initially “punished” by being required to write 10-page essays as a consequence for their actions. The group of teens who participated in the walk out presented the school board with a list of requests, which included ensuring that both the adminstrators who handed down the lenient “punishmnet” and the students behind the messages face adequate consequences. They also requested reassurance that the students who chose to participate in the walk would not be punished for doing so.
After meeting with the school board superindentent following the protest, the student leaders who orgazined the gathering reportedly told ABC News affiliate WBBJ that all of their requests were met.