White Students Allegedly Pulled Noose Around Black High School Football Player

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A chapter of the NAACP on Monday called for a federal investigation into allegations that four white high school students in Mississippi placed a noose around a black football player’s neck during practice and “yanked” it, ABC News reported.

“This is 2016, not 1916. This is America,” NAACP Mississippi President Derrick Johnson said at a news conference Monday.

The incident allegedly happened in the locker room Oct. 13 at Stone High School in Wiggins. Johnson asserted that law enforcement officials dissuaded the victim’s mother, Stacey Payton, from filing a police report, the Sun Herald reports. Stone County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Ray Boggs disputes that claim.

Stone County School District superintendent Inita Owen declined to address the incident specifically. “I can assure everyone that the Stone County School District takes all matters involving students very seriously and will do everything within its power to make sure that all policies and procedures were adhered to and that all of its students have a safe place to receive an education,” she said in a statement.

Capt. Boggs said he’s still investigating the report. All the unnamed students alleged to have been involved are younger than 17, and he expects any charges would be handled in youth court. “It’s probably one of the hardest cases I’ll ever handle in my career, because of the nature of it,” said Boggs, who is black, per The Associated Press. 

John Feaster, the school’s first black football coach, said he kicked a player off the team when school authorities figured out who was involved. “It just kicks up a lot of the past,” he said. 

The victim, a sophomore on the junior varsity, returned to practice after the incident, a state NAACP spokeswoman said, according to news outlets.

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