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The nooses were found hours after students staged a sit-in to protest the school district’s decision to transfer some teachers to different schools.
“I don’t blame any of the Black kids who don’t want to come back to this school because something needs to be done!” said Shaunique Shelton, parent of a 7th grader.
Cell phone from inside of Haven Middle School showed students flooding the hallways during 7th period Friday for what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.
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“Because the district is relocating some of our teachers that we all care about and love,” 8th grader Miles Lyons said.
Shana Miles’ 8th grade daughter video called her in the midst of the mayhem.
“She’s showing me. She like, ‘Mom, the police up here! Kids are running wild! Kids are running out the building,'” Miles said. “She’s like, ‘Can you please come get me? I’m scared!'”
Police said they responded to the school to bring calm, but were called back later by school staff. Not to calm crowds, parents say, but for something much worse.
In the midst of the protest, three nooses were hung on the tree above a memorial for a teacher. Parents believe the act is sending a clear and hateful message to the administration at the school.
“To my knowledge, those three nooses represent our Black administration,” Shelton said. “So, we have a Black principal, a Black assistant principal who’s a male, and a Black assistant principal that’s a woman.”
District 65 Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton sent a letter to parents, writing, in part: “This is a hate crime and a deliberate and specific incidence of an outwardly racist act. It resounds with a tone of hate and hurt that will impact members of our entire community.”
“That’s the terrifying part, right?” District 65 parent Sara Carlson said. “These children are in middle school, and they’re not seeing consequences for actions.”
“With all the screaming, banging, yelling and then this!” Lyons said. “It definitely took away from the peaceful protest aspect of it all.”
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