A principal and four teachers at an elementary school in Palmdale have been placed on administrative leave after a photo showing the teachers posing with a noose circulated on social media.
The incident occurred at Summerwind Elementary School and was brought to the attention of the school district on Wednesday, according to a Thursday morning statement from the Office of the Superintendent that was posted on the Palmdale School District Facebook page.
The district placed Principal Linda Brandts on administrative leave pending an investigation into “the discovery of a noose and possibly inappropriate responses to that discovery,” the post read.
The four teachers had also been placed on leave during the investigation, Superintendent Raul Maldonado told The Antelope Valley Times in a written statement.
“We will not stop until we find out exactly what did occur. We will not tolerate this type of behavior in our schools. We hold the highest standards and expectations for our employees,” part of the statement to the Times read.
Officials have not said when the photo was taken or how the noose came into the possession of the teachers but the image eventually became widely circulated on social media.
“It looks like a noose, a noose used to hang my ancestors from trees … black people,” Denise Royal told the Times.
Concerned community members can attend a school district board meeting at 4 p.m. May 21, or a town hall that is scheduled for 6 p.m. that same day at Living Praise Christian Church.