OPELOUSAS, La (KLFY) – Several baseball players at Westminster Christian Academy are under investigation by the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office. This comes after the players allegedly made a noose and placed it on the school’s campus.
“This is nothing to toy with and we take it very seriously,” said St. Landry Parish Sheriff, Bobby Guidroz.
Sheriff Guidroz says on Wednesday they received a complaint of an argument between at least six players on the school’s baseball team.
“An accusation came across that the white students had taken a rope and designed and fashioned a hangman’s noose and hung it at the baseball field where the other children, the black baseball players, could see it,” explained Sheriff Guidroz.
The sheriff says the noose was on display Tuesday at the school.
Investigators believe what started as a joke turned into name-calling that escalated between three white players and three black players.
“These kids are honor students all of them,” said Sheriff Guidroz.
Sheriff Guidroz says the public display of a hangman’s noose is a felony and could result in up to one year in jail.
“We have evidence right now to be able to pursue charges,” said Sheriff Guidroz.
However, the sheriff says the decision to press charges lies in the hands of the victims’ parents.
“We are talking to the parents of the victims and they’re really not excited about pursuing charges, so we’re going to let them make that call whether or not,” explained Sheriff Guidroz. “We still want something done by the school though, if it’s not in the criminal justice system, we think the school administrators should take action and I think they will.”
For now, the sheriff says as far as he knows the students are still attending the school.
We reached out to the Westminster Head of School, Scott Davis, he refused an on-camera interview and would not comment on how the players are being disciplined, but says they are taking this matter seriously.
Westminster Christian Academy issued the following statement:
Westminster Christian Academy was made aware of racially insensitive behavior that occurred on Tuesday night on our campus involving certain of our students. The use of inappropriate language along with a noose was involved. Westminster Christian Academy in no way condones such racially insensitive language, behavior or symbolism, which is directly opposed to our mission and core values. We have completed an internal investigation into this situation and have taken appropriate disciplinary action consistent with our policies and procedures and applicable law. Westminster Christian Academy has and will continue to take the matter seriously in moving forward. In addition to the disciplinary action taken with regard to the individuals involved, we are also undertaking additional steps to educate and strengthen the community that is Westminster Christian Academy. Westminster Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and other organization-administered programs.
Due to the privacy rights of the minor students involved in this incident, we will not be commenting further on this incident.