Officials investigate claim of noose put on black student

WIGGINS, Miss. (AP) – Officials continue investigating claims that white students put a noose around the neck of black football player at a south Mississippi school.

Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson called Monday for a federal hate-crimes investigation as the student’s parents stood beside him.

Johnson says the incident happened Oct. 13 at Stone High School. He says up to four white students participated.

Parents Hollis and Stacey Payton, didn’t speak Monday. Their son, an unnamed sophomore, wasn’t present.

Stone County Superintendent Inita Owen tells WLOX-TV she won’t publicly discuss student discipline, but says she takes the matter “very seriously.”

Stone County Sheriff’s Capt. Ray Boggs says officials believe something close to what the Paytons described did happen and he’s still investigating. Boggs says any alleged assailants are younger than 17 and charges would likely come in youth court.