Leigh Martinez, KTVU-TV, September 8, 2019
On August 21, a rope resembling a noose was found hanging from the front fence of Chabot Elementary School.
It upset parents and educators for the connection the image has to America’s history of violence against African Americans.
The Oakland Unified School District now believes this first incident was an accident.
“A family contacted our police department and told us their child had found a rope and just threw it over the fence, and it apparently landed on the fence in a way that brought about these feelings that maybe it was a noose,” said district spokesperson John Sasaki.
But on Friday, a school staff member found another rope. This time, it was tied tightly at the top of the baseball batting cages, which sit above the school on city property.
“Being an African American woman and knowing the history of this country, it does look like a noose to me,” said parent Candase Chambers. “That was the first thing I thought when I saw it.”
“If there’s anything resembling a noose, I think the best thing to do is take it down. It’s the responsible thing to do,” said parent Marti Hoskins.
The school cut it down immediately and contacted the FBI.
“The FBI did come in and investigate,” said Sasaki. “They talked to police department and looked at all of our evidence in both cases. They determined, based on their standards that neither one was a hate crime.”
“There was someone who told us that they believe the rope was placed up there perhaps as a way for kids, teenagers, to get up on top of that batting cage to possibility just hang out,” said Sasaki.
Parents said despite the intention, it harms the community.
The school district emailed parents about the discovery and investigation.