Officials at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, North Carolina said a Black teddy bear was found hanging from a noose Tuesday morning, reports WTVD-TV.
Students told ABC11 the sign [hanging next to the noose and bearing the words “Make Wakefield TRIPP again #smartlunch”] was in reference to bringing back their former white principal [Tripp Crayton] who was replaced in 2015 [by African-American principal Malik Bazzell] and an hour-long lunch break that was done away with.
“Let me be clear: This was an offensive act that has no place in our school,” said Bazzell [adding that the school’s stadium and baseball field were also vandalized.] “The imagery is deeply offensive and everyone in our school community should be appalled.” The Wake County School District also took to its social media account to ensure parents and students that incidents like this will not be tolerated [with the school seeking criminal charges and working with Wake County Schools to investigate the act.]
The Wakefield High School Black Student Union condemned the incident — which comes after several racially charged acts in the Wake County school system since March — as “racist” and referred to it as a “hate crime,” reports The News & Observer.