Noose found near Bay Area high school prompts hate crime investigation

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Alameda police are calling it a hate crime -- a piece of rope made into a noose was found on a city street right next to Alameda High School.

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"It's a level of seriousness that's way higher than what's happening," said Courtney Smith, a parent at Alameda High School.

Smith and other parents believe school officials should do more about the noose found outside the tennis courts at the school.

"It's a noose, that's a message that's clear," Smith told ABC7 News. "We need to send another message that that's not how we do it in the Bay Area. Whoever did it needs to be held accountable for it."

The noose was fashioned out of thin nylon rope from the court's privacy screen.

It was found lying on the sidewalk outside a fence.

"My understanding is the whole rope length was about four feet," said spokesperson Susan Davis.

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She said the district did notify parents with a robo call soon after it was found, and with a notice posted on the district website.

"I'm very sorry that the parents didn't think the school reacted enough," Davis added. "But I think people need to understand it takes a little bit of time to figure out how to best respond."

Smith and others want more done to reassure African-American students who make up about six percent of the student population.

"If it's an unknown thing or they don't feel backed up or protected by the school, then it creates a sort of hostile environment for them," Smith said.

The school district plans to hold a series of student meetings. Alameda police want anyone with information about the noose to contact them.
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