Locklear, James. “Official asks community to end strife.” Fayetteville Observer 13 Oct. 2002.
Superintendent Barry Harding met Saturday at UNC-Pembroke with about forty church, school, and community leaders to discuss ways of handling racial tension at Purnell Swett High School. Swett intends to form a committee to aid the process. The article recounts the first outbreak of tension as well as subsequent events.
Fights at the high school followed a fight at the County Fair (Oct. 4) during which several Black students beat an Indian student, with hundreds of students watching and throwing objects. Pembroke Mayor Milton Hunt informed Superintendent Harding that problems have existed for some time at Purnell Swett High School and that school officials should have acknowledged them sooner.
Around 100 Indian students protested at the school following the fight at the County Fair, stating that Indian students received harsher punishment for the fight than Black students because some of the Blacks involved are football players. Superintendent Harding called the claims false, stating that the 38 students suspended thus far included both Indians and Blacks.