Noose Found Hanging in Berkeley High Tree

Jana Katsuyama, KTVU (Berkeley), October 10, 2014

A search continued Friday for whoever hung a noose from a tree on the central campus green of Berkeley High School, district officials said.

According to district officials, a safety officer found it October 2nd and reported it to the Berkeley police.

The school staff announced the incident to students Thursday and sent messages by email to parents explaining what had happened.

Some students say they are upset.

“In my opinion I feel angry and at the same time sad,” said Asya Keele, a Berkeley High School student.

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The school’s vice-principal Ashley Milton says the district is taking it seriously. A message to students and their families stated that the staff plan to hold school assemblies and classroom discussions about the noose and its impact on students.

“We are investigating this incident. And, at this time, we’ve not been able to determine who was responsible for it or the intention behind it,” Milton told KTVU.

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Berkeley police say the intent is important as investigators determine whether this is a hate crime or something else.

“We don’t know if this is some type of prank. We don’t know what the intent is,” said Berkeley Police spokesman Officer Byron White. “If this does turn out to be some sort of hate incident, it’s not something that we tolerate.”

What many people might not realize is that California’s penal code specifically addresses the issue.

Section 11411 states that: “Any person who hangs a noose” on private property or “on the property of a primary school, junior high school, high school, college campus, public park, or place of employment” could potentially face “imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year.”

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