School district investigates teachers after displaying nooses as “back to school” necklaces in class
The Roosevelt School District of New York is investigating claims that nooses labeled as “back to school necklaces” were openly displayed in a classroom after community calls for accountability.
Arthur Mackey Jr., a pastor at Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral, posted the image on Facebook after he received it from a schoolteacher of color. The image shows two rope nooses with the title “back to school necklaces.” It also shows the words “Ha” and “#YES” on them.
Mackey told CNN, “When I heard about it I said that this is outrageous. The majority of students are minority students, African-American and Hispanic. For the image to be on the wall… is totally unacceptable.”
The Roosevelt School District’s statement said, “The Board of Education has zero tolerance for the display of racially offensive images.” According to NBC News, the school district said it was investigating the “inappropriate conduct” of an “isolated group of teachers” at Roosevelt Middle School. As such, three teachers have been put on paid leave.
Hempstead town supervisor Laura Gillen said on Sunday, “A clear message needs to be sent that there is simply no place in our schools and in our society for this type of racist, hateful and insensitive imagery.”
My statement on reports of "noose photos" labeled "back to school necklaces" by teachers in Roosevelt Middle School. A clear message needs to be sent that there is simply no place in our schools and in our society for this type of racist, hateful & insensitive imagery @WeAreRUFSD pic.twitter.com/UsLKpvJd5d
— Laura Gillen (@LauraAGillen) February 11, 2019
According to the New York State Education Department, 45% of the student population is Black and 55% is Latino/Hispanic.