The parents of a black student in Mississippi are outraged after a white teacher allegedly encouraged students to hang their son.
The substitute teacher suggested that the white student allow the black student to hit him “so that they could hang him,” according to the lawsuit filed by parents Tony and Kayla Lindsey in Brandon, Mississippi.
The threat was posed after their son, who has since graduated from the school., said he would hit a white student while they were arguing. The lawsuit alleges racial discrimination and has been filed in federal court in Jackson. The suit names the teacher Jane Pinnix, Rankin County school district and the company that provided the teacher as a substitute, Kelly Services.
“Everybody in the class gasped when she [Pinnix] said it,” stated Carlos Moore, the Lindseys’ attorney. “They knew exactly what she meant.”
The Lindsey’s son was suspended for three days. The substitute was also suspended by the school district.
Lawyer for the school district, Fred Harrell Jr. has deemed the lawsuit “frivolous.”
“She [the teacher] was trying to discipline an unruly child and maybe she didn’t use the best choice of words, but there was no racial intent or racial overtone,” Harrell Jr explained, adding that the filing incorrectly “recount[s] the teacher’s exact words” before referring to the black student. “He’s stirring up the media and he thinks that helps him stir up a settlement, but it won’t help with me.”
The family was offered $5,000 as “hush money” said Moore. Harrell said that the offer may have been made by the school’s insurer.
Of the black student in the incident, Moore said, “his black life is the one that seemed not to matter to the substitute teacher and the Rankin County school district.”
The situation has been “investigated, discussed with parents and resolved the week of April 7,” said a school district spokesperson who also called the case “meritless.”