Racist social media account alarms Purvis parents

Racist social media account alarms Purvis parents

PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - Parents of students at Purvis High School are outraged this week after several racist posts with students' pictures were posted to the social media app Instagram.

An anonymous user posted the photos, along with racial slurs.

The account's subject line reads, "White power, f*** blacks, yeah I got yo, Purvis KKK movement."

Various photos were of PHS football players with captions reading, "Emitt till workout, cut 'em up" and "D*** n****** why God create them."

"I've never experienced anything like this and it's just mind-boggling that kids are feeling this way," said Sheena Harris, stepmother of a student whose picture was posted on the Instagram account.

Her son, Montrell Harris, is a ninth grader at PHS and has only been enrolled for three months. Now, he is afraid to go back to school because of the picture post.

"Somebody has to give me answers because my son feels his life is threatened," Sheena Harris said.

"I felt scared that something could happen to me," Montrell Harris said. "They could still be there, I could get hurt anytime."

Montrell Harris' picture was not the only one posted on the account.

Several black students from PHS were in the posts including Tedra Prince's 11th grade daughter.

Prince said she was shocked at some of the Instagram comments she read.

"They (said they) would slice their throats, hang them, they would kill them wherever they seen them," Prince said.

Seven on Your Side spoke with parents who said they are angry that they were not immediately notified by Lamar County school officials.

"Anything could've happened at that school yesterday, and I find out Thursday evening," Harris said.

Prince said she was not notified by the school either. Instead, she found out through another source.

Lamar County Schools Superintendent Tess Smith said she was notified Thursday morning

"The school was working to identify the students that were named because we felt they were our priority because they had kind of gone back and forth on Instagram," Smith said.

She said there will be more security at school as this investigation continues.

After parents caught wind of the social media account, the account has since been deactivated.

"Our chief of police is housed here in my office," Smith said. "He was back and forth, I have another officer that's housed in this area he's at our alternative school."

In the meantime, Harris said she wants to take matters into her own hands such as even getting the FBI involved.

"I want whomever [sic] involved, whether it's a child or an adult," Harris said. "If it's an adult, felony charges. I feel that they should spend some time in jail behind this."

The person who created the Instagram account is unknown at this time, and officials will continue to investigate.