Police and school leaders in Muskegon are investigating after a noose was found at a playground over the weekend.
It was located Sunday, Aug. 13, at the Glenside Early Childhood Center playground. The school is where the district's preschool and head start classes are held.
A district employee removed the noose and and turned it over to police.
An investigation hopes to determine when the noose was placed on the swing set and who put it there. Video from school security cameras could help identify the person(s) responsible.
The discovery was made the day after a rally involving white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. where 19 people were injured when a car was driven into a group of counter-protesters. One woman among the group was killed.
"Considering what happened this weekend, I think it puts everybody on heightened alert about all different types of things and I think it is something that we need to address as a community -- but this is not the way that we want to do it," said Justin Jennings, Muskegon Public Schools Superintendent.
School staff learned of the noose first from a photo on Facebook that had been shared many times among Muskegon area residents. The photo shows the noose hanging from a swing set. It's not known when the photo was taken, or who first posted the photo.
"It is not something that we tolerate in Muskegon Public Schools, in Muskegon County, and in the city of Muskegon," said Jennings.
The Mayor of Muskegon, Sstephen Gawron, issued the following statement on Facebook in response to the incident:
A member of our community made a very ignorant error in judgement in attempting to incite divisiveness and hate in our City. Our community and our residents are better than this; we are smarter than this; we are stronger than this. Please do not let the ignorance of one person reflect negatively on the tens of thousands that call Muskegon home, where the community’s robust cultural and racial diversity is celebrated daily. Talk to your neighbors; talk to your friends; talk to your family, and ensure every one of them that this type of behavior is not welcome in Muskegon.
Anyone with information is asked to call Muskegon County's Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME or Muskegon Police at Tip Line 231-846-TIPS.
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