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Noose photo displayed in New York's classroom draws action from school district



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By Janelle Griffith

A school district on Long Island, New York, says it has taken "appropriate action" against teachers at a middle school for the display of racially offensive images "

A photo, part of a large collage on display in a classroom, showing two nooses under the term" back to school necklaces. " The words "ha" and "#yes" thus appear in the photo.

The Roosevelt School District said in a statement this weekend that it is aware of the "inappropriate conduct" of an "isolated group of teachers" at Roosevelt Middle School.

"The Board of Education was made aware of this incident on Thursday Feb. 7, 201

9," the district said.

A photo displayed in a classroom shows two nooses "back to school necklaces" at Roosevelt Middle School in New York on Feb. 7, 2019. Courtesy of Arthur L. Mackey Jr.

Arthur Mackey Jr., a pastor at Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Roosevelt, shared the photo on Facebook on Saturday. He said he was a teacher of color who works at Roosevelt Middle School.

"Once that was done, I knew that we had to stand up and inform the public, "Mackey told NBC News on Sunday.

Mackey said he had confirmed the photo's authenticity with other teachers at the school before contacting this weekend.

The district said in its statement that it has "zero tolerance for the display of racially offensive images."

Roosevelt Middle School has a student body as of the 2017-2018 school year that is 55 percent Hispanic or Latino and about 45 percent black or African-American, according to the New York State Education Department.

Mackey, a lifelong Roosevelt resident, said the Roosevelt school system was under state control from 2002 to 2013. It was the first district in New York to be taken over by the state.

"We've come a long way with their grades," Mackey said.


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