NY middle school classroom display featured nooses labeled as 'back to school necklaces'

A New York school district says it has taken “appropriate action” in response to a classroom display that labeled nooses as “back to school necklaces.”

A photo was shared on social media last week, showing part of the classroom display at Long Island’s Roosevelt Middle School, which also has stickers reading “Ha Ha” and “#YES.”

In a statement on its website, the Roosevelt School District said it became aware of the incident last week and “immediately” launched an investigation.


“The Board of Education has zero tolerance for the display of racially offensive images,” the statement reads, adding that the situation is a personnel matter and administration is unable to comment further.

NBC News reported Saturday that the district released a separate statement saying that an "isolated group of teachers" was involved.

Arthur Mackey, a local pastor who posted the photo to Facebook, told NBC News that a teacher at the school sent him the photo and that he separately confirmed its authenticity with other teachers before contacting school officials. 

"Once that was brought to my attention and I saw the picture, we knew that we had to stand up and inform the public," he said. "All we’re asking is after a thorough investigation, that whoever is involved in this racist image be fired."

Some Roosevelt parents told Long Island’s News12 that they were upset by the image, even if it was not meant to be offensive.

“That may not be what they are trying to say,” Savitri Lekhram told the station. “It is probably just a joke. It probably has nothing to do with African-Americans or anything but at the same time they can still draw that connection.”

About 45 percent of students at the school are black or African-American, according to NBC News citing New York State Education Department data.