Four California first-grade teachers along with their principal have been suspended after appearing in a photo with a noose.
According to Fox 11, Linda Brandt, the principal of Summerwind Elementary School, emailed staff members the photo of the teachers smiling with the noose and an image of the noose hanging in the office. Brandt sent the images to her staff with no context.
Eventually, parents found the photo on Instagram and reported it to the Palmdale School District.
Palmdale School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado confirmed they knew about the photo and has since placed the educators on administrative leave.
“Yesterday, it was brought to the Palmdale School District’s attention that an incident involving the discovery of a noose and possibly inappropriate responses to that discovery occurred at Summerwind Elementary School. The Principal and the personnel involved in this matter have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the matter. We will follow process and procedures to conduct the investigation,” he said in a statement.
Parents in the school district have voiced their outrage about the photo and are demanding Brandt and the rest of the teachers be fired.
“We want her gone from this school. And that’s just it. We want her out of here. I do, personally,” Darrin Harper told Fox 11 of Principal Brandt.
Other parents said they would be taking their students out of the school until the teachers are properly disciplined.
“They had the audacity to show up today,” Shaka Phillipps, who pulled her 6-year-old niece from Summerwind on May 9, told Yahoo Lifestyle. “The integrity of the school is completely compromised. To the Black community, a noose is a weapon, a symbol of slavery and lynching.”
“I’m now questioning the education that my niece, and every student of color, has received in this class,” she added.
Breyon Clemmons told Fox 11, “I’ve requested that my kid be taken out of one classroom because that teacher, in particular, has shown prejudice discrimination against my kid, and when I requested the Black teacher, I got grief for that,” she said.
According to Fox 11, Brandt is in consideration to become the next district superintendent.