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'Breaking point' | Clinton High School students stage walk-out after deputy's confrontation with Black student

A confrontation after the Clinton High School football game on Friday between a student and a deputy led to a walk-out staged by the students.

CLINTON, Tenn. — Clinton High School students led a walk-out on Monday after a confrontation between a Black student and an Anderson County Sheriff's Office deputy.

The confrontation happened after the high school football game on Friday, Oct. 1. Clinton students called it a "breaking point."

"It was just the final nail in the block of wood that split it. We were tired of everything that was happening, but it does play a big part because it shows to a more of a public eye what goes on," said Cashus Arnes, a student at Clinton High School.

"As a student body, we see that we have recognized that equality is the only thing that we will stand for, and today made us have a little bit of a breakthrough on to how to get towards walking to equality."

The details of exactly what took place Friday are unclear, but a video on social media showed the confrontation between a deputy and a Black student. At one point, the video shows the student on the ground. The sheriff's office said it's investigating.

In a statement, the family of the student at the center of the confrontation said, "Right now, we're working with authorities to find out what really happened. We're at the beginning of the investigation." 

The student is not being named at this time.

The Anderson County Sheriff's Office also responded to reports online that the student had been tased, saying a taser was not discharged during the confrontation and no student had been tased. It said it is in contact with the victim's family and wants misinformation about the case to stop.

The district said it supports and is proud of its students, saying this is what education is about.

"I really am proud of our student body. They've done it, they saw there was a problem. They did a walkout, it was an orderly walkout, but now they know that's just the first part of it," Director of the Anderson County Schools Dr. Tim Parrott said.

Once the walk concluded, the students said they must start the real work and progress to have good change.

"We will be forming a group of eight students of all different diversities, sexualities and gender identities," Arnes said.

This new group will be made up of students, reporting directly to Parrott.

"That's what education is about, giving students a voice and trying to come to a conclusion," Parrott said.

Anderson County Schools spokesperson Ryan Sutton said the school "had an above average number of students checkout" on Monday.