Local NAACP chapter joins controversial JF photo conversation

    Jefferson Forest HS (Google Maps)

    FOREST, Va. (WSET) -- Around 20 parents and members of the NAACP met Sunday after a controversial photo was taken at Jefferson Forest High School.

    The picture show students holding up the Confederate flag inside the school.

    The photo has caused an uproar with claims of rampant racism at the school.

    "I was very upset," Mironda Ray whose son attends the high school. "I couldn't even believe that it was in the school lobby."

    She said her son sent her the pictures while at school.

    "It disturbed me terribly," Ray said as they are new to the district.

    "He's heard different words from other students just blurting out saying the n-word or things like," Ray said.

    She said her son has ignored those words.

    "However that should be addressed," she said. "That should not be allowed. My child shouldn't hear that in school and it be OK and he's just conforming to this school's situation of allowing that to happen."

    So whenever the photo surfaced, she thought enough was enough.

    "They just feel like the administration is sweeping too much stuff under the rug and whether that's true or not, we don't know," NAACP Bedford Chapter President Robert Carson said.

    Carson said he was calling Bedford County Public Schools Administration to set up a meeting with them and parents to discuss what is going to be done moving forward.

    Carson said he thinks the biggest concern following this situation is calming the fear of parents and students.

    "This is not about the flag," Carson said. "This is about the mentality behind it and the things that are being said along with it. It is something that needs to be addressed and we intend to engage this whether as parents, grandparents..."

    Lyman Connor was at the meeting on Sunday. He said their goal as parents is to speak with school administration to define boundaries to help their students feel safe in their education environment.

    "I understand the notion of heritage with this flag and I applaud those people because it's not wrong to stand for that, but the issue is the people that etch away from it," Connor said.

    School administration said in a statement: "It is troubling to see what has transpired on social media following the incident, as what has been alleged by many is simply not true and in no way, reflects Jefferson Forest High School and the high standards we hold for our students and staff."

    The Bedford County Public School Board has a meeting coming up on February 21st at 5 p.m. The parents who met Sunday, said they would be there.

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