A Palmdale California principal has been suspended after she and three other educators smiled for a photo with a noose during school hours.
Linda Brandt, the principal of Summerwind Elementary School, allegedly emailed the photo to her staff, attaching a second image of the noose hanging on her office wall.
School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado took action after parents found the disturbing images on Instagram.com.
Maldonado tells Yahoo Lifestyle the noose was "discovered" in the school.
Maldonado tells Yahoo Lifestyle:
"Yesterday, it was 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 and the personnel involved in this matter have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the matter. We will follow process and procedures to conduct the investigation."
According to Fox 11, Brandt is a candidate to become the next school district superintendent.
Social media reacted with outrage and condemnation. One woman pulled her 6-year-old niece from the school on Thursday morning. She tells Yahoo Lifestyle she was shocked to see the four educators working in the school on Thursday, despite their alleged suspensions.
"They had the audacity to show up today," said Shaka Phillips, a former teacher, administrator and educational consultant. "The integrity of the school is completely compromised. To the black community, a noose is a weapon, a symbol of slavery and lynching."
Another parent, Darrin Harper, told Fox 11 he wants Brandt fired.
"We want her gone from this school. And that’s just it. We want her out of here. I do, personally."
Breyon Clemmons told Fox 11, "I've requested that my kid be taken out of one classroom because that teacher, in particular, has shown prejudice discrimination against my kid and when I requested the black teacher I got grief for that," she said.