NASSAU COUNTY, NY (WCBS/CNN) - Parents and activists are demanding answers after a racist photo of nooses labeled “back to school necklaces” was displayed in a middle school classroom.
The photo shows two nooses, with stickers of laughs, a smiley face and even hashtag "yes."
The title of the picture says "back to school necklaces" which an internet search shows is another name for a noose and a phrase that's sometimes used to express despair felt when school starts back up again.
But Hempstead town supervisor Laura Gillen calls it 'undoubtedly racist' and is calling on the Roosevelt School District to immediately dismiss any teacher responsible.
Pastor Arthur Mackey Jr. was sent the photo he says it’s part of a collage with pictures of three teachers and what appears to be other students.
He says it's a slap in the face during Black History Month.
"We call on our school board to fire anyone that is involved with this because as Dr. Martin Luther King said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," said Mackey Jr.
In a statement, the Roosevelt School District said it is aware of the "inappropriate conduct" and investigating. The school district said it is unable to comment further, calling the incident a "personnel matter."
"The Board of Education has zero tolerance for the display of racially offensive images," the district's statement said.
According to the New York State Education Department, more than half of the school’s population is Hispanic or Latino and about 45 percent is black or African American.