Albany State students support Jena 6 - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany State students support Jena 6

September 10, 2007

Albany -- It all started with a tree in the courtyard of Jena High School. Three nooses dangled from one of its branches. The three white students who hung them there were suspended.

"I think its unfortunate. And it just goes to show that we've come a long way but we have a long way to go," said ASU student, Jazzmine Randall.

Racial tension grew at the school, though the tree was cut down. But on December 4th Justin Barker was attacked by six black students. He was beaten and suffered a concussion and bruises.

Now the six attackers face charges ranging from aggravated battery to second degree attempted murder. "I think the young men were not tried fairly and I think its important that we go and support them," said ASU Junior, Jessica Whatley. 

"The punishment for the act that was taking place is a little more than what is due. We definitely agree that violence needs a result, needs a repercussion, but it's the extent of the repercussion that is in question," said Randall.

The situation has sparked national outrage and a protest is now scheduled in Jena on September 20th. A protest many Albany State students hope to attend. "The more support the nation has, that shows the whole world that we will not stand for things that are not right,  no matter what color you are. Justice is justice," said Randall.

Some students feel a personal connection to the situation. "I have two brothers that are in high school and in those six boys I see my brother, so its very personal for me," said Whatley.

Regardless the reason, they want their voices to be heard. One of the suspects has already been tried and convicted. Seventeen year-old Mychal Bell was found guilty of aggravated battery and conspiracy. He's not yet been sentenced.

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