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What were these women thinking?

KABC-TV has reported that four teachers and the principal of the Summerwinds Elementary School in Palmdale, CA were placed on leave last week after an inflammatory photograph of them appeared on social media. The photograph, taken by the principal, shows one teacher holding the noose and all four smiling.

One parent told KABC that “the noose had been hung from a tree on the school’s campus and someone had taken a video of the teachers laughing and joking about it.”

According to KABC, “some parents were so upset about the photo that they either temporarily or permanently pulled their kids out of the school Thursday.”

Another parent, Breyan Clemmons, who had decided to pull her child out of the school told a reporter from the Antelope Valley Press, “It hurts. It absolutely hurts me to the core. It’s disgusting and I’m outraged, and I want to see some action and not just administrative leave. We think that we’re sending them to a school; they’re safe. Never do we think we’re sending them to a plantation where they got nooses hanging up, and holding on to nooses.”

And parent Tierra Harris, told her daughter, “Do you know what they use that for? They use that to hang African-American people — that’s what they do — and kill them.”

The superintendent of the school district, Raul Maldonado, issued a statement apologizing for this unfortunate incident. He wrote:

Late afternoon (May 8th) it has been brought to the Palmdale School District’s attention that an incident involving the discovery of a noose and possibly inappropriate responses to that discovery occurred at Summerwind Elementary School. The Principal has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the matter…

As the Superintendent of Palmdale School District, I am appalled that this incident occurred. I am committed to the Palmdale Promise’s values of equity, integrity, and multiculturalism, and I know that most of the District believe in the same values the Promise upholds. We will not allow the hurtful actions of a few hold back our District’s pledge to do right by our community.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. We will continue to provide fair, equitable, and quality education to our students.

There is no excuse for such an act of callousness, poor judgement and just plain stupidity.