LAKEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Two nooses were found this week at two rival Southland high schools in instances that authorities said were being investigated as hate crimes.
On Thursday, students at Bellflower High School started their day forced to look at a racial slur, which had been spray-painted on the side of a theater building along with a noose students say was found dangling from a tree out front.
“It’s honestly disgusting. Honestly, there should be no tension. No hatred between anyone. It’s wrong,” Jorge Flemate, a Bellflower student, told CBS2’s Bobby Kaple.
Teachers were shocked.
“When I saw it, I shook my head in shame. In complete and utter surprise that someone would still think that that’s OK to do,” said Lawrence Johnson, a teacher.
Earlier this week, a noose was also found hanging from a tree at Mayfair High School.
Both schools are rivals and played against each other last week during a football game.
Some believe that could explain the slurs, while others disagree.
“I do not think it was school rivalry, like everyone says. I believe that someone else might have done this as a publicity stunt,” Flemate said.
In the meantime, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incidents as hate crimes.
So far, no arrests have been made.