Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 21, 2013

NT student makes lynching threat at KW basketball player

Niagara Gazette — A North Tonawanda High School student has been suspended after tweeting a racist message during a varsity basketball game last week threatening to “lynch” a Kenmore West basketball player who is black.

“Hey #11 for ken west I will find you and lynch not just you but your family too,” the tweet read, before trailing off into an expletive and a racial slur during North Tonawanda’s 61-51 loss.

The tweet was directed at Terrell Ford, a sophomore multi-sport athlete at Ken West.

North Tonawanda High School Principal James Fisher and Athletic Director Cynthia Bullis issued a statement Friday, a week after the incident took place, indicating that an immediate investigation ensued, and that the suspension was issued to the student in line with the district’s code of conduct.

“One of our students, a non-athlete, electronically transmitted a racially insensitive and threatening message to a student-athlete from another school,” the statement said. “An immediate investigation was conducted by the NTHS school administration (and) confirmed the identity of the student, who admitted responsibility for sending the offensive message. The student has been held accountable for harassment (and) suspended from school.” 

But James Mallory, Ford’s brother, said he was informed the suspension was for five days and said it did not go far enough to address the comment. Mallory said his family has contacted an attorney and is considering pursuing legal action.

“A five-day suspension, I don’t think that justifies the type of thing that has (been) done,” said Mallory, adding that his family became aware of the tweet before arriving home from the game Dec. 13. “It wasn’t just a racial slur, it was a death threat against my brother and my family.”

Fisher said district policy prohibited him from releasing the exact terms of the suspension but did say the most severe penalty for “harassment” was as long as five days.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results