Framingham police are investigating after a noose was found hanging outside a building at a charter school on Juneteenth, an act school officials condemned as “abhorrent” in a message to the school community.
On June 19, Framingham police told Christa McAuliffe Charter School officials that a noose had been found “hanging from a structure” outside of a building on campus, school officials Kristin Harrison, Frank Tipton, and Bob Berman wrote in a statement. The incident aligned with Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.
“We do not currently know who is responsible,” school officials said in the statement on Wednesday. “What we do know is that this racist act is abhorrent and stands in opposition to everything McAuliffe stands for and hopes to achieve. We soundly reject those acts [across the country] that threaten the safety, dignity, and well-being of anyone among us.”
No classes or programming were in session at the school when the noose was discovered, school officials said. Schools have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The incident occurred just two days after a noose was discovered hanging from a tree at a private beach in Yarmouth, according to a statement from Yarmouth police. Police also found 20 flyers asking for white men to join local white nationalists posted along streets in Yarmouth Saturday morning.
Three weeks ago, McAuliffe school officials sent out a message to the community pledging support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to Black students and staff at the school.
“To all of our African American students, staff, and families: You matter. Black Lives Matter. We see you, and we support you,” the statement said. “Just as we learn in engagement with each other, so we as a community recognize our position within a larger American society struggling to overcome racial inequity.”
The school will “redouble” efforts to plan for the health and safety of every student and staff member, with a focus on supporting Black community members “who were targeted in this incident,” school officials said.
Counseling is available to all students and school employees who need support, the statement said.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Framingham Police Detective Bureau at (508) 532-5924.
Matt Berg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.