The National Movement for Civil & Human Rights is requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice intervene immediately on behalf of the students expelled from West Florida High School over what the organization’s executive director, Ellison Bennett, described as “horse playing.”
In the letter, Bennett alleged that the “individual who actually started the ‘panting’ incident had the tabled turned on him and his brother and two of his friends actually ‘panted’ him.” He claims that the victim didn’t want to get his friends in trouble so he told the authorities that another player had done it.
The executive director wrote that at least 13 students were involved in the incident but only three young black were punished. Bennett called out the WFHS coaching staff and administration for not providing adult supervision on the bus–other than the coach who was driving the bus.
“No one is condoning the results of the student’s behavior, but we believe we should make the people responsible to our children bear the blame for not doing so,” said Bennett. “Also, if there were no parents to supervise the bus some of this large coaching staff should have cared enough about these students to ride the bus with them to ensure they were kept safe.”