Last month, a student at Raymore-Peculiar High School gave a noose to a 14-year-old black student. A couple of students received three-day, in-house suspensions and Ray-Pec Superintendent Jeff Kyle blew off the incident, telling KCTV 5, "Yes, I guess you can call it a noose. I have visions of the long, large rope that they would hang them in the old west with. To me, that's a noose, but this was a smaller piece of string that you would have a hard time hurting anybody with."
Kyle's comment didn't go over well with the student's parents, Donald and Sarah Washington, and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, whose legal branch fired off a letter (read the full text after the jump) to Kyle last week accusing the administrator of minimizing the episode and not understanding "the profound symbolic significance of the noose, especially when it is directed to an African-American student by white students."
Also in the letter, ACLU Chief Counsel and Legal Director Doug Bonney urged the school district to "address this outrageous incident of
racial harassment" by providing "onsite
training regarding racial harassment and its prevention to all of its
students and staff including administrators. Such training should
specifically address the noose incident direct at Devin Washington and
should include information about the historic and symbolic significance
of the noose for African Americans"
Kyle wasn't immediately available to take my call. I'll update if I hear from him.
Photo by Chris 73 via Wikimedia Commons.