A sit-in was staged on Monday, Dec. 4 by students and community members after a group chat leaked of white students texting racial slurs and threats directed against one or more black students at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee. The disturbing texts included the following exchange:

"So no go on stringing a n***er up?"

"I mean we can find one black guy and make an example for sure."

"I got a couple in mind."

Twenty-one year old Haywood graduate, Kyler Douglas shared screenshots from the private group chat to his Facebook page two weeks ago. Douglas told Buzzfeed News that the photos were sent to him by a friend of his, a black student at the high school, who was "too scared to say something."

Douglas claims that the students in the group chat are members of the baseball team and so is the friend who sent him the screenshots. School officials said they are launching a full investigation into the incident and will "take appropriate action based on the findings and follow school board policy." 

According to students, so far that "appropriate action" has only consisted of requiring the students who participated in the group chat to write a 10-page essay as punishment for the racist threats.

While school board representatives neither confirmed nor denied this report, the associate superintendent of the Haywood County School District said that the essays are "part of the investigation that is underway."

To express their dissatisfaction with the penalty – or lack thereof – students, parents and members of the surrounding community staged a protest at the school.

 An official statement posted on the Haywood County School's Facebook page asked concerned parties to, "Please know that we are cooperating with the Brownsville Police Department to ensure that we have a safe, orderly learning environment for our students." The statement also confirmed that no police charges would be filed by the Brownsville police.