BREAKING: Superintendent confirms Haywood HS principal, assistant principal suspended without pay

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — Haywood County Schools Superintendent Joey Hassell has released an additional statement amid student protests at Haywood High School, in part confirming that the school’s principal and assistant principal have been suspended without pay.

Hassell says school officials met with protest organizers Tuesday afternoon during a private meeting.

Students and parents protested Monday after screenshots of social media messages allegedly sent by students were posted online over the weekend. The messages contained racial slurs and threatening language. The protest continued Tuesday.

Superintendent Hassell confirmed earlier Tuesday that both Principal Jerry Pyron and Assistant Principal Tim Seymour had been suspended.

Principal Jerry Pyron, left, and Assistant Principal Tim Seymour

According to protesters, the students who allegedly wrote the racial messages had already been reprimanded and made to write a 10-page essay.

Hassell released an additional statement Tuesday afternoon:

“Haywood County Schools district leadership will meet with the Haywood County NAACP and parent representatives this afternoon. Once the meeting is complete, information will be shared.

As previously stated, Haywood County Schools is in the process of completing an in-depth investigation around who made the posts and those who were aware of the posts and failed to report pursuant to the Haywood County Board of Education policies.

The HHS principal and assistant principal have been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

As a reminder, the Board of Education cannot legally comment on any investigation concerning its students; however, hatred, racism, and bigotry have no place in our school district.”

Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News as more information becomes available.