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Oct. 19 - School Board president’s statement on video by Arts Academy students burning sign of Mayor Jackson

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

October 19, 2015 – On Saturday afternoon, about 2 p.m., a video of six white students, allegedly from Savannah Arts Academy, ‘went viral’ on Twitter, posted by a blogger from Atlanta. 

In the video, the students can be seen standing in front of a burning campaign sign of Mayor Edna Jackson, too reminiscent of a KKK burning cross-type incident. One student can be heard yelling, “Burn in hell Edna….Burn,” and holding a canister of lighter fuel.  There  are two boys and four girls in the video, and obviously a seventh student who was shooting it all.  

Graphics have been added to the video that say, “Greetings from the Cult,” and “RIP to Edna Jackson.”

Upon learning about the video just a few minutes after it went viral, School Board president Jolene Byrne got onto the issue immediately, calling Supt. Thomas Lockamy, and calling Jackson to apologize, and assure her that the school system would look into the incident immediately.

Byrne has since learned that the bonfire did not happen on school grounds, nor at a school event, and therefore SCCPSS “does not have jurisdiction,” she said, in an interview today.  

“But we are working with the students, their parents, and the Mayor, and are going to facilitate a meeting with Ms. Jackson for the students to apologize,” said Bryne.  “Any other action would be a decision of the police,” she said. 

“But, obviously, our children do not have an understanding … and do not have an understanding of the history of our community,” said Bryne, adding “This is a teachable moment about why this was so wrong.”  And, she said that she will be following up on next steps regarding the schools.

According to Bret Bell, City spokesperson, “The Mayor would just like to talk with the students, about her background, about who she is,” he said.

SCMPD spokesperson Eunicia Baker was not available for comment on whether Chief Lumpkin plans to take any action.

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