HEBRON, Conn. — Concerned community members are outraged after a noose was found in a boys' locker room at RHAM (Regional Hebron, Andover, Marlborough) High School Friday morning.
At a board of education meeting Monday evening, they spoke out about what they say is an issue larger than this one incident.
"This is something that is bigger than the school, it's a community issue. When your kids are going home and you're making racist jokes it's not funny. When you're making jokes about safe space on Facebook it's not funny," said Erin Bussiere of Hebron.
Connecticut state police are now investigating the possible hate crime but the Connecticut branches of the NAACP are calling on federal, state, and local officials to investigate.
"We have to put a stop to this. This is 2022. Not 1863. When's it gonna stop?" said Rodney Alexander Jr., first vice president of the Windham-Willimantic branch of the NAACP.
The noose - a symbol of violence and hate.
"That was a message. You don't burn a cross without a message. You don't hang a noose without a message. So as a message to whoever hung it, we're here, we're not going anywhere and I'm a very easy man to find," Alexander said.
The Regional School District No. 8 offered counseling services over the weekend and said those supports will continue to be available for those who need them.
"The district's focus at this time is to ensure that the students and staff who have been affected by last week's event are provided with a safe space at school and with all the supports we can offer," said Superintendent Colin McNamara.
Some community members said this needs to be a moment to take action to create real change.
"This calls for curriculum reform it, it calls for training and development of our teachers and our students," one resident said. "They cannot learn if they are not safe. They cannot learn if they are not made to believe that they are members that are valued and protected in our community," she said.
The NAACP will be addressing this during a press conference at RHAM High School at noon on Tuesday.
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