School completes investigation into racist threats

School completes investigation into racist threats

HAYWOOD COUNTY, TN (WMC) - The investigation into threatening and racist social media posts from students in Haywood County Schools is officially over.

Haywood County Schools Superintendent Joey Hassell released a letter Tuesday announcing results of the investigation.

Hassell said the principal and vice principal at Haywood High School have been reassigned. The students who made the offensive posts have been disciplined.

Hassell refused to comment on how the students were disciplined. He said his district was "committed to protecting the privacy of our students and families."

The students in question used social media to threaten to shoot black men and hang people who like and/or associate with black people.

Students at the high school organized a walkout to protest what they said was poor handling of the situation. They said school administrators did not take the posts seriously when they disciplined the people behind the threats by making them write a 10-page essay.

"Hatred, racism, and bigotry have no place in our school district," Hassell said.

Haywood County Schools will begin immediate steps to implement the following changes:

  • Haywood County Schools building administrators will continue to be responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students annually as to the definition and recognition of discrimination/harassment as required by school board policy.
  • All Haywood County Schools staff will participate in sensitivity training in dealing with students, their parents, and the community. This training should include acceptance and tolerance.
  • Haywood County Schools will explore, adopt and/or develop an appropriate curriculum for all grade levels dealing with acceptance and tolerance.
  • Athletic teams will be required to act appropriately when dealing with acceptance and tolerance. Coaches must expect and model appropriate behavior. The Athletic Director should monitor all teams to assure tolerance and acceptance.
  • Haywood County Schools will continue to provide training in dealing with discrimination, harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying and intimidation and in reporting student concerns, complaints, and grievances to all staff and students.

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