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Teachers posed with noose at California school. Black parents are outraged.

NBC News logo NBC News 5/10/2019 David K. Li and Lena Camilletti

Classroom desks © Getty images Classroom desks A photo of four elementary school educators in Southern California smiling as they pose with a rope fashioned into a noose has led to their and the school principal's suspension and sparked outrage among some black parents.

The image of the educators at Summerwind Elementary School in Palmdale, 70 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, was originally emailed by the school's principal, Linda Brandts, and was shared hundreds of times on email and social media, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Palmdale schools superintendent Raul Maldonado said all five educators have been put on administrative leave, pending a district probe.

"The Palmdale School District holds all employees to the highest standards and expectations. At this point, there is an investigation into this matter," Maldonado said in a statement to NBC News on Friday.

"Please be assured that an appropriate response will be taken based on the findings of the investigation. The Principal and the personnel involved in this matter have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the matter. We will not stop until we find out exactly what did occur. We will not tolerate this type of behavior in our schools."

Parents of some African American children at the school told the NBC station said they were troubled by the educators' apparent insensitivity about the association of nooses with Jim Crow-era lynchings.

"I feel like he's not safe here," parent Misty Evans said of her son, a student at Summerwind. "It brings you back to slavery days," she said of the image.

Another parent, Juan Dillard, said the educators involved should lose their jobs.

"My son is leaving today, and he's not coming back to this school until they are fired," Dillard said.

The city of Palmdale is majority Latino, according the most recent U.S. Census data, at 58.6% with whites, 22.1%, and blacks, 12.5% being the next biggest racial groups.

NBC News could not immediately reach members of the Palmdale school board or representatives of the teachers' union for comment on Friday.

State Assemblyman Tom Lackey, a Republican who used to sit on the Palmdale school board, said the noose pictures are "inconsistent with the culture encouraged by PSD."

"I am saddened by the negative impacts associated with this," Lackey tweeted. "I am confident the Palmdale School District will investigate this matter and follow-up with the appropriate actions."


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