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Transylvania County NAACP president: Brevard High must address systemic racism

Tommy Kilgore, NAACP chapter president, said the high school has systemic racism problems. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

One month after News 13 told the story of 17-year-old black Brevard High School student Quenton Sample-French, the Transylvania NAACP chapter met again Monday night to discuss progress in the case.

"I appreciate the support," said Sample-French as he helped put up the NAACP sign with other chapter members who are having discussions with Transylvania County Schools Superintendent Jeff McDaris.

Tommy Kilgore, NAACP chapter president, said the high school has systemic racism problems.

During the meeting, he said McDaris has welcomed the NAACP's input. But, Kilgore said, there is resistance to acknowledge racism and bullying problems at Brevard High school.

"There's an area at the high school they call 'Redneck Corner,' said Kilgore. "The students confirmed it does exist. Just a level of intolerance with certain students."

When asked if it was an intolerance of black students, Kilgore said said yes. "Black, hispanic, transgender, LGBT students."

During the NAACP meeting, one attendee said the Redneck Corner at Brevard High School has existed since 1961.

Sam Farrar, who graduated in May from Brevard High school, said many students use a racial slurs in everyday conversations outside of class. "Of course, we heard people use the n-word," he said.

Farrar said he heard fellow Brevard High School students regularly use the slur, insensitive and indifferent to the word's degrading connotation for African Americans.

"Everyone I've talked to (at the school) that's a student there all agree that it's (on) a daily basis that you hear it."

News 13 reached out to Superintendent Jeff McDaris for comment Monday, but did not hear back.

Kilgore says systemic racism has been there for generations, and has worked itself into the school system.

"They don't want to hear that," said Kilgore. "They say it's an isolated incident, but it's not."

Kilgore said there needs to be a level of education for all students and faculty about what racism and hate crimes are, and what they do to those attacked, bullied, and intimidated by racial slurs. Kilgore said Superintendent McDaris has asked the NAACP for input and discussions are starting on a possible core curriculum class about racism and hate-related speech and topics.

Sample-French said he was the victim in an alleged racially motivated hate crime.

A 16-year-old white student at Brevard high has been charged with multiple misdemeanors including assault, and communicating threats. A warrant states the 16-year-old student told Sample-French "I am going to hang you," and called him the n-word.

News 13 reached out to the 16-year-old for comment but his mother said there was no statement from the family.

Rose Sample, Quenton's mother, said there is another student who was in the truck with the white student who made the threats to her son.

News 13 has seen a written statement in court records that indicate that student witness corroborated Quenton Sample-French's account.

The student witness wrote that he heard the student use the n-word and also wrote on his statement that the 16-year-old student said "I'm gonna kill this n----r."

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