Target: Inita Owen, Superintendent of Stone County Schools
Goal: Demand high school accused of letting racism slide clean up its act.
A group of white students at Mississippi’s Stone County High School reportedly put a noose around the neck of a black student and attempted to strangle him. The school claims to have taken disciplinary action against the accused, but some members of the community feel the alleged hate crime is not being taken seriously enough.
The attacked student survived, but this is not the first reported incident of racially-based hate crime committed in the state. Mississippi has had a long history of unbalanced racial relations, to the point where the outdated Confederate battle emblem remains on its state flag. Mississippi may not be outright racist, but its lack of action concerning the reported attack shows a clear bias in favor of the white aggressors.
This cannot stand. Schools are responsible for the well-being of their students, no matter what the color of their skin, and they have failed to protect the victim in this supposed case. While it is harsh to call racism instantly, it is hard not to assume that racial bias may be the case in the school’s apparently reluctance to address this problem thoroughly. Stone County High School must be held accountable for its alleged failure to protect the rights of their student. Sign this petition to demand the school board investigate and punish the students involved and implement rules against racially-based hate crimes.
Dear Ms. Owen,
A group of white students at your county high school reportedly attacked a black student by attempting to hang him with a noose. A school is supposed to ensure the safety of all students, especially in this day and age where bullying takes on much uglier meanings and methods. We urge you to follow the recommendations of local NAACP leaders and ensure the suspects in this crime are justly punished.
Racially-based hate crimes are an atrocity that should be long gone in today’s world, post-civil rights movement. Black students should receive the same respect and protection as white students, for they are just as human and deserve to feel safe walking the halls of their school. The victim in this alleged incident has been done a great disservice. Your school has reportedly failed to protect him, and this cannot stand. Please correct this by offering a formal apology to the victim and severely punishing his attackers as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: paologhedini