Residents and concerned parents crowded at a community town hall meeting held by the Palmdale School District Tuesday to address a photo showing four smiling teachers holding a noose.
The photo was taken at Summerwind Elementary School and posted online without a caption last week. The post sparked outrage and soon became widely circulated on social media.
District officials said the photo was taken by the school principal on May 1st and emailed to the four teachers before an unidentified person brought it to the district's attention six days later.
The principal and the teachers were all placed on paid leave during the investigation, district officials said.
At the meeting Tuesday, parents expressed their concerns about the photo.
"I have never felt so uncomfortable bringing my child to school in my life," one parent said. " I don't know who to trust."
Another resident, a woman whose grandson attended a school in the same district said she was not surprised by the photo.
She told a story about confronting her grandson's 7th grade teacher who told students a story about African Americans being "so happy to be enslaved." Officials have not commented on this incident.
The grandmother then turned to school district officials and asked them to take a closer look at the curriculum and "teach the truth."
Los Angeles civil rights activist Najee Ali also addressed district officials at the meeting, calling for the firing of the teachers involved.
He held up a noose and said, "this noose right here, for black people, it represents the hanging of our ancestors."
The school district's Superintendent’s office said in a Facebook post that officials are conducting a full investigation that will examine all sides and that there is a possibility others may have been involved, including the person responsible for posting the photo online.
"The district will exercise due diligence and due process as directed by rules, laws, and regulations when the investigation is complete, I will inform all involved of any outcome to the extent allowed by the law," the Superintendent’s Office said in the post.