Parents, community activists lead protest outside Houston County School Board building

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Dothan, Ala. (WDHN) — Protesters gathered on the front lawn of the Houston County Board of Education’s building to protest what they consider lack of action in the Ashford High School teacher text scandal.

“They (are) taking this as a joke,” said Venissa Wilson, aunt of one of the affected students. “These teachers aren’t going to go nowhere. They’re going to continue trying to keep them in there. While I’m here, they will not be in there because I’m going to keep fighting for all the kids.”

Protesters called the teacher’s actions unacceptable and their words blatant examples of racism.

“I don’t care if you gave the student your phone, the student doesn’t have any business with your phone,” said Tkeyah McGriff, the cousin of one of the affected students. “We’re teaching the kids not to have their phones in school and to learn and to pay attention in class. Why did that child have your phone?”

“Can you go in your in job and call your boss an ape,” asked Dechauna Tensley of M.O.B.B (Mothers of Black Boys). “Can you walk in your job and call your boss a honky? Then why can you call her black nephew an N-word?”

Houston County Schools Superintendent David Sewell gave his take on the rally and this case’s status during a phone interview with WDHN.

“I would like to thank them for being very respectful and orderly and I appreciate that,” Sewell said. “The ninth will be the first chance we would have to get together. Plus, we had to give the chance for our employees to get due process.”

According to event organizers, the teachers are reportedly still on suspension.

Watch the extended interview with parents and activists below:

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