A Houston activist is speaking out after he says a Memorial High School student who has special needs was targeted and jumped by a group of white students in what he believes was a racially motivated attack.
Now the mother of the 17-year-old boy is calling on the school district to take action.
Activist Quanell X told Click 2 Houston that the student suffered a concussion from the attack, which was allegedly preceded by online threats aimed at the victim. The student’s mother, Hattie Williams, said there was a war of words between her son, who is African-American, and his attackers that sparked the altercation.
“They had an altercation and some words were exchanged, and it got out of hand and that’s when the physical altercation happened,” Williams said, adding that her son was lured off campus.
Describing the Feb. 8 incident as a “hate crime,” the outraged mother said her son was beaten by five white students who also attend Memorial High.
Quanell X showed Click 2 Houston a paper with screenshots of the threatening social media posts, which Williams said also contained hate speech.
“They posted this before they lured him across the street: ‘black man hanging from a tree, I’ll hang your ass, on the spot,’ ” he said, referencing one of the social posts. “One student posted, ‘What’s good little n****r talk s**t get ganged. ‘Once we kill him, we’ll throw him off a top.’ ”
At least one of the posts even referenced a shooting, according to ABC 13.
“These kids talk about committing a shooting on campus. Look at this,” Quanell X told the station. “They’re talking about shooting this mother’s son on campus.”
The victim’s mother said none of the five students allegedly involved in the beating have been disciplined by the Spring Branch Independent School District. Meanwhile, Williams said her son has been punished with in-school suspension.
Quanell X expressed frustration over it all.
“One black kid lured across the street and jumped by at least five white boys,” he said. “We know for a fact three of them are still in school till this day and two others were allowed to transfer. [Yet], they separated (Williams’) son, put him in ISS for the fight. The only black kid that was jumped by five white kids, he’s in ISS. None of them are in ISS, not one.”
Williams has since called on the FBI and Texas Rangers to join the ongoing investigation into the incident.
The Spring Branch Independent School District declined to comment on the specific allegations, but offered this statement:
“On Feb. 8, Memorial High School experienced a substantial disruption of the school environment due to social media posts which frightened many students and parents. The campus has and will continue to respond to the situation according to the requirements of state and federal law and the SBISD student code of conduct. The District reported the information received to the FBI and is collaborating with the FBI on this matter. The District must protect the confidentiality of all students and this situation is no different, so the District is not able to respond with facts to set the record straight about all the circumstances.”