Seems like there are some facts missing here...
Some of the black students attempted to go to a barn party just after the arson at the school, and weren't allowed to for the "we don't like your kind here" attitude. A white man (not a student) beat them up, they all got booted, and the five students got into a fight with a group of white men including the first one. The man was later charged with simple battery. The next day, they were at a convenience store when they got in another fight still, this time a white student who had been at said party pulled a gun on them, which one of the black students stole and took home. The white student wasn't charged with anything for brandishing a firearm, the black student was charged with theft, robbery, and disturbing the peace.
After that weekend, Justin Bailey was bragging about how the kids had been beaten up by a white guy, and the "Jena Six" jumped him later that day. They were charged with attempted murder, even though the kid was discharged from the hospital the same day and there were no weapons involved.
So we have
1) The noose hanging incident, instigated by the black students sitting in an area white kids usually sat in
2) An arson, which as yet is completely unsolved
3) The students try to go to a party but get beaten up by a group of white men who get no charges or a charge of simple battery
4) A white student pulling a gun on them, who gets charged with nothing, and a black student who steals said gun and gets charged with robbery and theft of a firearm
5) Black students being charged with attempted murder for pretty much the same crime that had been committed against them days earlier by a white man who was charged with only simple battery.
Sorry, but there's a clear pattern here of the law taking the side of the white people involved and giving them lesser charges for the same crime. There were so many fights breaking out at the high school that the police started patrolling it.
It's obvious that both sides made very poor decisions, and chose an extremely stupid way to deal with what was going on, but it wasn't always instigated by the black students.