STONE COUNTY, Miss.- The Mississippi State Conference NAACP held a press conference at the Stone County Courthouse at 3:00 p.m. to discuss allegations of a hate crime at the Stone County High School.
“As of today (Monday) Mr. and Mrs. Peyton has not been notified of any actions taken against the young men,” said Derrick Johnson President of the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP.”We are calling federal investigators to view this as a racial hate crime.”
Reports surfaced that a white student at SCHS thew a noose around the neck of an African American student and pulled backwards. Since then, students have told others that more individuals were involved. So far the students have not been expelled and the victim’s parent’s say they are not aware of any other punishment.
“The school’s own policy calls for the automatic expulsion of any student committing a violent act against another student. Yet, to our knowledge, this policy has not been adhered to in this case,” said the NAACP.
The school told the victim’s mother that they could not disclose any form of disciplinary action due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, FERPA also states that the victim of a violent crime is entitled to be informed of the final results of a disciplinary hearing.
“We have not heard any official response from the school and the mother has asked multiple times. The only thing the mother has heard was off the record, that one student had been sent to alternative school,” said Johnson.
The NAACP reports that no record of the incident has been reported to the police.
Mrs. Peyton attempted to file charges against the students for the violence but said she was discouraged to do so because one of the students’ father was a former law enforcement officer.
Johnson said the discouragement came from a sheriff’s deputy, but did not release a name.
They have reached out to federal officials to investigate at this time.