On August 21, a rope with a knot that appeared to be a noose was found in front of Chabot Elementary School in Oakland, California.
What We Know:
- The Oakland Unified School District spokesman John Sasaki stated that “It’s unclear if the rope was intentionally placed there as a racist display or ‘haphazardly’ thrown on the fence. The rope could have been used as a ‘casual dog leash’ and was left there by accident.”
- Sasaki has informed everyone that the officers are reviewing footage of the street’s corner to see who may have placed the rope there. He also stated that only a few people saw the rope before the school’s principal took it down.
- The school district says they are taking the incident seriously. “This is Oakland, and you don’t mess with Oakland like that if indeed that’s what this was,” Sasaki said. “We accept all people here, and we will always do that no matter what.”
- The principal of the elementary school sent out an email to parents reading “The way it was placed could have been a coincidence, but it also could have been indicative of something more disturbing. It was easy to see the rope as a message that harkens back to some of our nation’s darkest history.”
- Many parents feel uneasy about the situation especially with the current state of our country and our country’s president who often fails to efficiently condemn hate speech as well as hate crimes. The school has hired extra staff to discuss the incidents with students and provide wellness support.
In the wake of these incidents its important to remember that whether or not it was intentional there are symbols from America’s past that can ensue traumatizing emotions and that the well being of the children and their parents should be protected.