Noose images labeled “Back to school necklaces” were found at Roosevelt Middle School in Long Island, N.Y. The school district is investigating.
Arthur Mackey Jr., a pastor at Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral in Roosevelt, was sent the picture by a teacher at the school. He posted it on Facebook and called on the school district to take action.
“Once that was brought to my attention and I saw the picture, we knew that we had to stand up and inform the public,” Mackey said on Sunday. “All we’re asking is after a thorough investigation, that whoever is involved in this racist image be fired.”
He is calling it a “hate crime and racial discrimination.”
“When I heard about it, I said that this is outrageous,” Mackey said. “The majority of students are minority students, African-American and Hispanic. For the image to be on the wall … is totally unacceptable.”
One community member responded with a surprising remark, “It’s probably just a joke, it probably has nothing to do with African-Americans…. but at the same time, they could still draw that connection.”
This is uniquely problematic for this school district in which 95 percent are people of color. Mackey has received positive responses from other community members who want the person responsible to pay the price.
The district “cannot condone racism,” he said. “We have a great school superintendent, school board president and school board and we all believe in our hearts they are going to do the right thing.”
The school promises to take swift action and released a statement saying that an “isolated group of teachers” were involved.