School: Wakefield High School— aysia woody (@aysiawoody) May 30, 2017
Phone number: (919) 562-3600
Address: 2200 Wakefield Pines Dr, Raleigh, NC 27614 pic.twitter.com/4oY8aBRofY
Students and staff at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, were shocked to discover a black doll hanging by a noose from the school’s building this week.
A note calling was also placed next to the teddy bear. It read: "Make Wakefield TRIPP again #smartlunch,” evoking President Donald Trump’s famous campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”
Students interviewed by ABC11 news channel claimed the sign referred to bringing back the school’s former principal, Tripp Crayton, who is white. He was replaced by Malik Bazzell, who is black, in 2015.
It is believed the offensive act was carried out in response to Bazzell’s decision to end what was called “Smart Lunch” — an hour-long lunch break policy, reportedly favored by Crayton — at the beginning of the year.
Although the noose was quickly removed, many people at the school, including teachers and students, photographed it and posted images on social media.
Following the incident, Bazzell released a statement, condemning the incident. He added the school's stadium and baseball field had also been vandalized.
"Let me be clear: This was an offensive act that has no place in our school," Bazzell stated. "The imagery is deeply offensive and everyone in our school community should be appalled."
"I was very hurt about this when I heard about it. But I was also angry because I send my child to school to get an education, I don't send him to school to get to walk into the building and be hit in the face with a black stuffed animal being hung from the building," a mother told WRAL.com.
"I think it is sad. I think it is going to have a major impact on all these children, especially children of color," said another parent. "People like to believe racism doesn't exist. That is not true, that is so not true."