Tension reported in South Arkansas high schools | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tension reported in South Arkansas high schools

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Reports are bubbling about election-related tension in one Southeast Arkansas high school and a police call to another.

In Star City, some arguments apparently broke out on racial lines among students yesterday.  According to KATV accounts, on Twitter, one white student wore a Trump mask and a white student or students shouted at black students to go back to Africa. Students gathered this morning outside to pray for peace. The YouTube comes from Southeast Arkansas Weather.

In Hamburg, officers responded to a report of unspecified threat, but a search turned up no weapon. Superintendent Max Dyson said in a message to parents that police and deputies were called because of a rumor of "possible violence."  He said no weapon was found and the staff would continue to monitor the situation. No mention made if this was somehow election-related.

Sources at the school say, however, that the hanging of a Confederate flag upset black students at Hamburg and threats were made today on social media referring to minority students.

Election-related occurrences seems likely to persist. A protest of the coming Trump presidency has been scheduled for the Capitol Friday night. But it is described as "peaceful."

UPDATE: Trump ugliness reported in Conway.

Dollie Spencer, whose grandchildren Erica Briggs, 12, and Erianna Briggs, 11, go to Star City Middle School, and other families of children who say they were harassed by white kids at the middle and high schools in Star City met with Director of Student Services Nathan White after the incident, but could not get a promise from him to call a community meeting to discuss the incident or how the schools would protect children in the future. He told them they could come to the next School Board meeting to air their grievances, Spencer said.

Spencer said that one white boy started with trouble, telling the African-American and Latino children to "go catch the Trump train to Africa or Mexico or Canada." She said other white kids "took their cue" from the the boy, who was wearing a mask of the president-elect, and that the harassment continued throughout the day. At one point, another child said he was going to bring a gun to school to make sure the African Americans and Latinos got on the "Trump train"; today police and state troopers searched children before they could enter school.

Spencer said a black girl was reprimanded after the boy with the Trump mask started recording her as he told her to "catch the Trump train"; she asked him to stop and pushed his hand. The boy claimed he was trying to steal his phone. Spencer said the school would not give details on what the exact consequences for the girl were.

Superintendent John Laffoon and White were unavailable this afternoon to speak to the Times.

Spencer, who with other parents have been monitoring the school grounds from their cars, said her 11-year-old granddaughter was afraid to go to school today, and several kids stayed home.

Parents also complained to the school about what they perceived to be racist posts on the Facebook page of music teacher Glynetta Burnett. Burnett's Facebook page does not now include any racial slurs, but it does include anti-Muslim posts from Franklin Graham as well as other shared posts calling President Obama's policies a disgrace, that prayer should be returned to school and one that says, "How to End Terrorism: 1. Buy a gun. 2. Learn how to use it. 3. Carry it EVERYWHERE."

Spencer said White told parents the school could do nothing about a teacher's Facebook posts, although the Star City School District did fire teacher Philip Holthoff in 2015 for his racist comments on a Neo-Nazi website.

Families will ask the superintendent for a meeting next week.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (34)

Showing 1-34 of 34

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-34 of 34

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Open line and Civil War update

    More Confederacy defenders were on hand in Bentonville against imagined threats to a one of hte Confederate statues put up long after the Civil War to spin a narrative about the noble Lost Cause.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • Three dead in WLR

    Three dead in suspected double murder-suicide in West Little Rock.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • One dead in shooting at Buffalo National River

    KTHV reports a man was fatally shot Saturday at the Buffalo National River in Searcy County in what is being called an officer-involved shooting. No other details at the moment.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation