Indian letter stirs tension at Purnell Swett.

Record Number: 

Jenkins, Venita. “Indian letter stirs tension at Purnell Swett.” Fayetteville Observer November 1, 2002.


This article describes a typed letter that was circulated at Purnell Swett High School. The letter surfaced after a fight between Black and Indian students at the County Fair on October 7 and a protest by around 100 Indian students and adults in the high school parking lot on October 9. The protesters said that Indian students who participated in the October 7 fight received harsher punishment than Black students.

The letter-writer refers to himself as “a soldier in the Lumbee’s army” and says “I will never surrender to the enemy.” The letter also contains a racial epithet against Blacks.

Maxton Mayor Lillie McKoy, who has acted as spokesperson for parents of Black children attending the school, considers the letter a hate letter and intends to write the school board about it.

Since the October 7 fight, several parents have enrolled their children in other high schools.

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