Four Teachers and Their Principal Placed On Leave After Cheerfully Posing for Photo with Noose

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FOX11

Four teachers and the principal at Summerwind Elementary School in Palmdale, California, have been placed on leave following a photo with a noose circulating on social media, according to ABC News.

A parent told KABC News, the noose was found hanging on the school's wall in early May. It's unknown how the looped bit of rope got on the wall, but the teachers began cracking jokes shortly after it was discovered.

The inappropriate responses continued when four teachers, with beaming smiles, posed for a picture with the noose. That photo was taken by Linda Brandt, the school's principal.

Brandt then allegedly emailed the photo to other school faculty members, along with a second image featuring the noose hanging in an unmarked office. The picture eventually made its way to social media accounts on Instagram, where it was discovered by parents, who are calling for Brandt and the associated educators to receive much harsher punishment than a simple leave.

Bryson Clemmons, whose 10-year-old daughter attends the school, has refused to send her child back to Summerwind since the incident.

"We drop our kids off with the idea that we are sending them to a culturally competent institution for learning," Clemmons explained to Fox 11. "We think that we're sending them to a school; they're safe. Never do we think we're sending them to a plantation where they got nooses hanging up, and holding on to nooses. Taking pictures and smiling, where's the humor?"

Shaka Phillips, a former teacher, whose 6-year-old niece attends the Summerwind, told Yahoo Lifestyle, "The integrity of the school is completely compromised. To the black community, a noose is a weapon, a symbol of slavery and lynching."

The incident is currently being investigated by Palmdale's school district, located about 60 miles from Los Angeles. Superintendant Raul Maldonado issued a statement on the school's behalf stating, "I am committed to the Palmdale Promise's values of equity, integrity, and multiculturalism, and I know that most of the district believe[s] in the same values the Promise upholds. We will not allow the hurtful actions of a few hold back our district's pledge to do right by our community."

The outrage from parents is certainly palpable, and according to the parents, won't cease until some serious changes are made to the school. Phillips promises that her niece won't be returning to Summerwind until the school changes their policies and announces more appropriate punishments for the educators in question.

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