Early Monday morning, Jan. 9, the Dresden Enterprise began receiving messages privately on Facebook over concerns about an apparent “kill list” being found in the boy’s bathroom of Dresden High School. The parents stated that they were concerned about the list and it targeted African-American students.
A photo of the list was sent showing the list begins with an expletive and derogatory word followed by “Kill List” with the first names of five students written underneath.
A call the morning of Jan. 9 to the Director of Weakley County Schools, Randy Frazier requesting further information and comments over the apparent kill list being found. At the time of the call, Frazier was not made aware of the incident.
“I spoke to the principal this morning about some other situations, so I’m not aware of that,” Frazier said. “I will call and check on that, but I’m sure if that happened I would have heard that by now.”
Later in the afternoon of Jan. 9, Dresden High School principal Scott Killibrew returned a call to the Enterprise office. He confirmed that “some graffiti” was found and had been erased.
“We’re currently, you know, investigating things. But all students are safe here at Dresden High School, which is the most important thing, and they are all safe, you know, safe to be at school.”
Killebrew also mentioned that he would defer to Randy Frazier regarding an official statement, and he was then told that Frazier stated he was not made aware of the list earlier that day. Killibrew then confirmed again, “There was graffiti found on the bathroom wall and that is what it amounts to. But all students are safe to be at the school.”
He declined to go into further detail about the context of the graffiti, stating that it was still being looked into, and he was made aware of the list being found that Monday morning. Killibrew finished by stating that the safety of students is most important, “…no matter how big or small…” an incident may seem, and it is always looked into to ensure the safety of students.
The following Tuesday, Randy Frazier was called again for further statements. He stated, “As a district, we always take this type of threat as a concern and investigate it as thoroughly as possible with not only our school staff but our police staff in each community.”
He went on to say that it did not seem to have much merit and that it would be hard to find out who wrote on the wall. He stated that the school would try to look at video camera footage to see who came in and out of the bathroom, but he was not sure when it was written, and it may be difficult to find a person or persons responsible. Frazier stated, if a responsible person is found, they would face consequences.
When asked if an empathy seminary would take place after this situation, Frazier noted those types of things do happen in schools, but on a district level, and it would not necessarily happen because of this.
School System Statement Released January 11
School administrators were notified early this week of an incident involving graffiti in a restroom at Dresden High School. The incident was immediately addressed at the school level. Law enforcement and affected students and parents were contacted. The graffiti was located and removed. Students identified as having a part in the incident face disciplinary action.
“Weakley County Schools does not condone this type of behavior,” said Randy Frazier, Director of Schools. “Our schools provide activities and programs that promote inclusivity. Students are required to adhere to our district’s policies while they are present and inside any of our school facilities or at school functions. We ask that parents and guardians help by having conversations with children at home about the concepts and consequences of violence, discrimination, and hate.”
Weakley County Schools will not discriminate based on race, creed, color, handicap, national origin, gender, age, political affiliation, or beliefs.
Anonymously report a safety concern 24/7/365 by visiting the website weakleycountyschools-tn.safeschoolsalert.com. The website provides the option to anonymously report via mobile app, text, web, email, or phone.
Parents Make Statements
NOTE: Statements by parents were given willingly and have remained the same as what was sent. Inclusion of their child’s names have been included at the parent’s discretion.
“I am the mother of Raymond, the last name on the list. My biggest concern of this all is I was made aware of the incident on Tuesday after 6 pm via a phone call from a family member and a Facebook post not by the school or school board. On Wednesday morning at 6:45 am is when I made a phone call to the sheriff’s office and requested extra officers at the school. It was not until 7:30 am when I called the school and was made aware by the principal, Mr.Killebrew, that they(the school) became aware of this on Friday. After speaking with Mr.Killebrew, I understood what steps he was taking and where he stands in the investigation, but what I still do not understand is why my son’s life does not matter enough for someone to have simply picked up the phone and notified the parents of the children (concerning) the list and what had happened. School shootings are real! I can guarantee you none of the many children and staff who have lost their lives, due to school shootings, thought while getting ready for that day that it would be their final day on earth. These children had their lives threatened simply due to the color of their skin and as a parent of one of these children, I also feel like the school failed them by simply not notifying the parents! As a community, we must do better in protecting these children, and as parents, we have to do better at teaching these children love instead of hate!”
DeAndrea S. Sowell
“My son’s name is second on the list. This is very disheartening, to say the least, I moved from Saint Louis Missouri, due to gun violence and killings, and here I am subject to racism and kill lists. We are in 2023, and it’s sad to say that we African Americans aren’t seen as human beings and or equals, but are still seen as those shackled lost souls we once were. I don’t teach my children to hate, because hate is taught. I teach them to love those who love them whether they are green purple short tall fat skinny etc. This is a cruel world, why preach and teach more Hate? My son isn’t a bad person. Why should he be judged by the color of his skin, and not by his charming personality, his ability to adapt to any environment, his willingness to learn, his smile, and his brilliance? Can we help the color of our skin? No, we can’t. Why aren’t these children being held accountable for this hate crime? Why hasn’t the school system provided extra security for Dresden High? Why haven’t they notified the parents? Why did us parents have to band together and speak and advocate with no one to listen? I don’t know why this isn’t taken serious! If it were an all-caucasian list written on that wall, things would be different and the world knows this. My black son’s life matters to me. It’s not fair to have someone write to me that they will take the person I birthed from me! Who gives you that power? When will we stand together and let them know this is wrong? I’m scared for my son in this city of Dresden, and I wouldn’t recommend any person of color moving there. I will not let them sweep this under the rug. I will not let them try and say, “OH this happens all the time.” This will stop here and now. We as people need to stand together…what if it were your child?
“We the parents, weren’t notified by the schools. Our children came home Friday of last week and showed us a video of the wall. Us as parents, took it upon ourselves to get together Monday morning at 8 to go to the school and speak as the voices of our children. The school will not do anything extra to provide extra safety for our children, nor have they launched an investigation to try and figure out what cruel person or persons are responsible. Please share. Please get the word out. Prayer works but the devil is working overtime.”
The Enterprise is following this story, if there are any further developments, we will add additional information at a later date. As of publication, no further comment, statement, or developments have been made.