Mom: Noose leaves emotional scar on her 15-year-old son

Alleged noose attack on black high school student in Mississippi                      WMAR

The mother of a black 15-year-old in MS says when white schoolmates put a noose around her son and pulled it, they didn't leave a physical scar, but may have left a life-changing emotional wound. The FBI said it is aware of the incident but wouldn't confirm or deny an investigation.

A civil rights group in the U.S. state of MS has demanded a federal hate crime investigation after the family of a black high school student said white students put a noose around his neck.

Payton described her son as peaceful and said he was friends with the boys involved.

Sean Courtney, the attorney for the Stone County school district, wrote Tuesday in an email to the Associated Press that administrators determined that the school's conduct code was violated in the October 13 incident. He said all the students involved are younger than 17 and he expects any charges would be filed in youth court, where records are closed to the public. Courtney said he couldn't identify the student or the specific punishment, citing privacy rules.

According to the Mississippi Department of Education, Stone High School's 790 person student body was 72 percent white during the 2015-2016 school year. He didn't suffer any physical injuries in the attack, but the AP's report notes that Payton believes it has "permanently changed" her teenage son.

In March, a former University of MS student pleaded guilty to a federal civil-rights crime after admitting that he had taken part in tying a noose and Confederate flag around the neck of the James Meredith statue, which honors the civil rights hero for his role in helping integrate the state's flagship university. "To suggest that the district did not follow its policies and procedures or otherwise not investigate and address this issue is patently false", Courtney wrote in a statement on Tuesday.

Courtney said there was no report of any racially-insensitive language nor any indication of what the motivation may have been.

About 20 percent of Stone County's 18,000 residents are black and 78 percent are white. In 1894, also while Stone was governor, the state adopted the flag it still uses, with the Confederate battle emblem prominently featured in the upper left corner.

"It's probably one of the hardest cases I'll ever handle in my career, because of the nature of it", Boggs, who is black, told the AP. "Just give it to me, '" she said. Bolden said she sees a connection between the flag and the noose incident.

Carissa Bolden of Wiggins, the mother of a middle school student, attended the NAACP news conference Monday and said white students have been flying the MS flag from their vehicles.

"I feel like it escalated from them allowing kids to bring Confederate flags" to school, Bolden said.

CNN called Principal Adam Stone for comment and was told by someone at the high school no one there could talk about the situation. The civil-rights group is calling on the school to expel the white students.

Scott Maddox, a soccer coach at Stone High School, poses for a photo at the school in Wiggins, Miss., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016.



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