After 2 days of protest, students return to Haywood High School

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — Two days after kids walked out of Haywood High School, parents and community leaders greeted students Wednesday morning as they returned to class.

“All the credit goes to those children,” parent Thelma Taylor said.

Students protested after racially offensive Snapchat messages surfaced. The messages allegedly were between four white Haywood County students and appeared to target African-American students.

“This is theirs. We didn’t take over this, we didn’t start this. We were their support system. Those children spoke for their change,” Taylor said.

Over 100 students gathered in front of the school Monday and Tuesday to protest. They not only wanted the students responsible for the messages punished, but the school administrators punished for the way they handled the situation.

“We just want what we want, and we hope and pray we get it,” parent Betty Shutes said.

Tuesday, protest leaders met with Superintendent Joey Hassell and organizers tell me their three main requests were met.

The boys behind the messages will be punished. The school system confirms they have been kicked off the baseball team.

Protesters also wanted to make sure the students protesting will not be punished.

Lastly, Principal Jerry Pyron and Assistant Principal Tim Seymour are both suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

“It did my heart so good. It may not be showing right now, but I’m just overwhelmed to see the smiles and hugs we got this morning, seeing the kids able to go back in school. It’s a blessing,” Shutes said.

“Those babies spoke and got justification and they are going back into school,” Taylor said.

With high fives and hugs, the students walked proudly back into the building.

“If they go to the administration, they are going to be taken seriously,” Taylor said.