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Rope with noose

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Some Local Residents Are Calling For The Teachers Involved To Be Fired

Folks just won’t let go of the racist imagery of the past (and present) whether it’s Black History Month or not.

According to New York Daily News, one Long Island middle school joins the list of people making light of hurtful symbols when teachers displayed a photo collage that included a picture of two nooses labeled “back to school necklaces.” Text reading “Ha ha” and “#Yes” were beside the noose pics.

It all went down at Roosevelt Middle School where most of the students are people of color. Many parents and other officials were outraged by the imagery.

“I was very upset about it. I mean, if they feel that way then they’re in the wrong school district,” Yvette Hudson of Roosevelt said to News12 Long Island.

According to the office of the Hempstead Town Supervisors, 45 percent of Roosevelt Middle Schools’s students are Black while 55 percent are Hispanic or Latino as of the 2017-2018 school year.

Some people of Hempstead tried to actually defend the actions of the teachers involved.  “That may not be what they’re trying to say,” Savitri Lekhram said. “It’s probably just a joke, it probably has nothing to do with African-Americans or anything. But at the same time they can still draw that connection.”

The Roosevelt School district  issued a brief statement calling the situation a “personnel matter,” and they couldn’t comment further on specifics.

They did say, however, “The Roosevelt School District is aware of the inappropriate conduct at the Roosevelt Middle School. The Board of Education was made aware of this incident on Thursday, February 7, 2019, an investigation was immediately initiated, and appropriate action taken. The Board of Education has zero tolerance for the display of racially offensive images.”

One local pastor wasn’t satisfied with this statement however, and he wants the teachers involved to be fired. Arthur Mackey Jr. of Mount Sinai Baptist Church said a friend who works at the school notified him about the noose pictures.

“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 told NBC News. “All we’re asking is after a thorough investigation, that whoever is involved in this racist image be fired.”

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen echoed the same sentiments in a statement that was issued on Sunday. “This imagery that was on display in a Roosevelt Middle School classroom is undoubtedly racist and should not be tolerated in our Town, or any other community,” said Gillen. “The imagery is also deeply insensitive and troubling to anyone with mental health issues and those contemplating suicide.”

There’s no word yet if any faculty involved has been let go.


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