There will be no criminal charges for a white student from a Massachusetts high school who made an off color remark about a member of his school’s football team who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem at a recent school football game. Despite that, the student has been punished by school officials.
The white student from Monument Mountain Regional High School allegedly mouthed off about “lynching” a member of the school’s football team, a black male, for indulging a Colin Kaepernick-styled anti-American statement during the playing of the national anthem at an away game in Athol, Massachusetts. The student denies saying anything of the sort.
School authorities allege that on September 26 the unnamed white student made the unkind remark verbally to another student. The school immediately called the police asking them to look into the possibility that the white student perpetrated a “hate crime,” the Associated Press reported.
Great Barrington police, though, have decided not to pursue any hate crime charges against the white student for indulging his right to free speech for criticizing the black student who was also indulging his free speech.
The town’s Police Chief, William Walsh, said the derogatory remark doesn’t rise to the level of a hate crime.
“It was a derogatory remark that expressed an offensive opinion, but was not in the nature of a threat or call to action, and therefore constituted free speech,” the chief told the Berkshire Eagle newspaper. “The [department] received guidance from the FBI on investigating this incident and found that the exact remark that was made did not carry with it any direct or overt threat to commit a crime, under the strict definition of the law.”
Ultimately, the police decided that the white student was mouthing off instead of issuing a serious, direct threat to his fellow student.
For his part, the white student in question insisted to authorities that the accusation was “a pack of lies” and he denied saying anything of the kind.
School administrators told the paper that the student has been punished but would not elaborate on the nature of the punishment citing the student’s privacy.
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