A Maryland middle school is doing damage control after a student created a noose in class and hung it from the ceiling.
The unidentified student made the noose in a science class at Southern Middle School in Lothian, which is roughly 12 miles from Annapolis, according to The Washington Post. The students were supposed to use a rope to create a pulley. Every student in the class hung their projects from the classroom ceiling, including the one who created the noose.
A student from another class later complained about the noose to a teacher. According to letter from Southern Middle principal Kevin Buckley, the student “made an offhand comment about having created a noose to others in the class.”
Buckley gave the student the benefit of the doubt, but acknowledged the noose’s hateful history.
“While the intent may not have been to do so, the creation of a device that resembles a clear symbol of hate and bigotry is not something that can be tolerated in our school or our school system,” he wrote.
Buckley said the school took “appropriate action” with the student, but did not share details.
Southern Middle’s student body is predominately white and Black students only make up 10 percent of the population.
Buckley insisted Southern Middle “will not accept bias-motivated actions such as this anywhere in our school.”
He also encouraged parents to speak with their children to “emphasize to them the critical nature of this matter. We cannot create climates of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion if we allow actions such as this.”
School district spokesman Bob Mosier condemned the student’s actions in a statement.
“We are not in a day and time where these things can be overlooked and not dealt with sternly,” Mosier said.
“This is an incident that happened in a school, but it is not a mindset that was cultivated in a school. This is a community and a societal issue.”