Two teachers in New York fired after noose images displayed in classroom

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By Janelle Griffith

Two teachers at a middle school on Long Island, New York, where an image of a pair of nooses labeled “back to school necklaces,” were displayed in a classroom have been fired.

The Roosevelt Union Free School District school board voted 4-to-0 on Tuesday night to fire two certified staff.

The staff members were not named at the meeting, but school district officials told NBC News previously that the question of terminating two nontenured teachers at Roosevelt Middle School, who were allegedly involved in the noose incident, would be considered at the March 19 meeting.

The teachers had been employed by the district for two to three years.

A third teacher, who is tenured, remains on administrative leave for her alleged involvement in the display, the school board president told NBC News.

A photo displayed inside a classroom shows two nooses labeled “back to school necklaces” at Roosevelt Middle School in New York on Feb. 7, 2019.Courtesy of Arthur L. Mackey Jr.

The noose images were part of a larger collage that was in one of the classrooms at the middle school, which has a student body that is almost entirely black and Hispanic. The collage showed two nooses and also featured the words “ha” and “#yes.”

The school district in the town of Roosevelt said in February that it took “appropriate action” against the teachers for the display of the “racially offensive images” when it was made aware of the incident.

It is unclear who made the collage or how long it was displayed in the classroom.

The image was widely criticized. Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Arthur Mackey Jr., chaplain of the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce, both called for the firing of the teachers responsible for its display.

Prior to the vote Tuesday, Mackey told school board members that the noose incident shows the need for “a strong emphasis on black history [to] be revived in the schools.”

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