Police Called on Black Teenagers at Henderson Library

#overpolicingblackpeopleisreallyathing

Lila Miller, A&E Editor

A local Statesboro woman is angry with a Georgia Southern librarian who called the police on her son and his friend utilizing the Zach S. Henderson Library on the Statesboro campus. The former GS Business and Social Services alum took to Facebook on Friday Oct. 19 to sound off on her frustrations over what she viewed as a racially charged incident. 

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Police cars parked outside of Henderson Library on Oct. 19. Photo originally uploaded to Facebook.

The woman left her 15-year-old son and a friend at the library as she had done frequently during the summer months. The two boys were listening to headphones and using the library’s computers at the time.

Henderson Librarian, Kristen Hicks reportedly asked their ages and the boys continued using the services. Twenty minutes later, a police officer arrived on the scene, the boy called his mother, and another police officer came. 

Police gets on the phone saying they didn’t do anything wrong, they just can’t be here without an adult. I’m really confused bc [sic] I have saw [sic] kids there many times without an adult. But ok, I’ll come get them. When I arrived, literally two police cars [were] sitting in front of the library. When I walk in and talk to a Kristen Hicks she told me it’s their policy… I’m like ok, but why call the police why not call me? [She said] ‘Ma’am your number wasn’t listed.’ So, why not walk over to them and get my number? She had no answer!” the woman wrote. 

The woman in question has preferred to remain anonymous as she is currently seeking legal counsel over the matter. Earlier today, the aforementioned policy on the library’s FAQ website under the question, “Are children allowed in the library?” The site states that “children under the age of 14 should be supervised by an adult.” The boys in question were both 15 years old, above the age required for adult supervision. 

The woman hashtagged the post with #overpolicingblackpeopleisreallyathing. George-Anne Inkwell staff reached out to Henderson Library for a statement, was told to leave a message, and then redirected to the University Communications and Marketing Department. 

After some internal investigation, staff also noticed that the incident was not recorded in the “Daily Crime and Fire Log” the university documents in regard to police incidents. 

Communications Director, Jennifer Wise released this official statement regarding the incident,

Georgia Southern University Police were called to assist in locating the children’s guardian in order to ensure the safety of the two unaccompanied minors. University policy requires that unenrolled minors be supervised by an adult while on campus. The boys were not reported for causing trouble. The University recognizes that an outdated FAQ section on the Library’s website included information in conflict with the current policy. We regret that this section was not up-to-date and apologize to the mother of these boys and anyone else who has relied on this inaccurate information. This information has been corrected on the website.”

As of press time, the post has been shared 78 times, garnered 233 comments and 154 reactions.

Members of the community expressed their similar frustrations writing, Racism is racism…She could’ve just called you. Here I am bringing another black male into this world and it hurts my soul…You should be upset. We didn’t ask to be born black and it’s sad our men have to suffer for it…”

This is the second reportedly racially charged incident at the Statesboro campus in the last two weeks, and the newest investigation is ongoing. 

 

15 thoughts on “Police Called on Black Teenagers at Henderson Library

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  1. So, the teenagers are older than the age of 14 but Jennifer Wise is calling them “children” in the official release. The incident was not recorded in the crime and fire log? The teenagers were not disturbing the students but a staff member decided to intervene? What shameful behavior on the University’s part. I guess now the entire university community can expect more diversity training while this swept under the carpet?

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    1. I’m so glad I left that inbreed, backwoods, racist town. A bunch of hicks living in a bubble. Sadly even the ones below defend racism. Hiding behind there keyboards. You crackers are trash.

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      1. THEY WERE NOT!!!! It’s sad but some folk would say anything to stand against people of color. Shame on you.

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  2. This is an unfortunate incident. I feel for the mom, boys, and the employee. What has the color of the boys’ skin got to do with it? No matter who is “right” or “wrong”, or if this is just a misunderstanding, it has maybe been blown out of proportion?

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    1. I don’t think you read it comprehended the article or situation. The point is that the police were called when they didn’t have to be..the point is that the police are called in black ppl disproportionately to any other race. Choosing to be ignorant is sad.

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      1. I agree with you. Don’t jump all over me and call me ignorant. I would like for this to CHANGE. I do not think anyone should be treated differently for ANY reason. How do we affect change?

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  3. The biggest problem here is that GSU is notorious for incidents going on, either against minority races or sexualities, and them doing absolutely nothing about it. The other “racially charged” incident they’re referring to is a book burning by a bunch of freshman who decided a guest speaker at the college, promoting her book, was racist against whites because in her book she calls white privilege in academia. They accused her of being racist against whites, they burned copies of her book in their dorm parking lot, and Statesboro as a whole basically told this GUEST that they couldn’t ensure her safety and moved her to Savannah rather than deal with the incident. There’s always crimes against LGBTQ+ people and people of color. I remember one semester I was there, there were vandals going around and damaging cars that had stickers that supported the gay community. To the point where most of my friends were forced to take their stickers off to avoid damaged property. It’s the entire town too, not just the school or the students. Statesboro is where the Good-Ol-Boy mentality and the toxicity of the south come to make their last stand. It was so bad to live there I had to leave just shy of earning my BA for my own health and wellbeing. I’ve heard that it’s only gotten worse since, and every single one of the headlines I see about GSU seem to prove it.

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    1. Wait… Vandalism of pro-LGBT vehicles was a widespread thing? I had my HRC magnet torn up in the Southern Pines parking lot in 2013.

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