(Wynne, AR) Parents and concerned citizens prayed and walked together to the school board meeting Monday night, just two weeks after a controversial locker room incident had the town dramatically divided.
Two white students were expelled for one semester after they were accused of tying a noose around a black student’s neck.
The students are players on the Wynne Junior High School football team.
One man leading the prayer before Monday’s meeting said, “Father, these kids are devastated. They’re embarrassed, they’re ashamed; they’ve done things that they didn’t understand anything about. Father we pray.”
While everyone hopes to move beyond their differences, part of the community still wonders what really happened in the locker room.
“I’m trying to protect our students and get this over with for our community,” said Carl Easley, the superintendent of Wynne Public Schools.
Easley admitted he initially told News Channel 3 everything would come to light at the last school board meeting. Instead, he said Monday night, no further explanation would be coming.
“We need to know,” said Natalie Marrs. Marrs participated in the walk and supports the idea of a united community.
Christine Callahan, also joining the walk, said the school did the best it could, dealing with one student’s word against another’s.
“I think fear drives anger. And people are scared, and that’s why they’re acting the way they are…instead of coming together and turning to each other as a community to fix the problem,” Callahan said.
The victim’s aunt, Tresha Light, attended the meeting, hoping to get more clarification on the decision to expel the two students for one semester instead of a full year, as recommended by administration.
But she soon learned the incident would not be discussed at all.
“We’re not angry at the town, we just don’t like the decision that was handed down to us,” said Light.
She said the family would have liked to participate in the prayer walk, but they found out about it too late.
“I hope that we can work this out so we can come back together as one big city,” she said.