VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A rope in the shape of a noose was found at Newtown Elementary School in Virginia Beach late Tuesday.
A staff member found the rope hanging from a tree on the school’s property, according to a letter sent to families.
“This has caused some understandable feelings of fear and stress amongst our staff and we’re making you aware because we believe it is important to be transparent with our school community,” the letter reads.
The letter said its Office of Security and Emergency Management is investigating along with the Virginia Beach Police Department.
School officials said the district doesn’t tolerate hate, and counselors were available to students and staff for support.
Dr. Aaron Spence, the superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools, released the following statement:
I am horrified by what can only be seen as a racially motivated act and can assure our community that VBCPS does not tolerate acts of hate of any kind. We will fully support and cooperate with our law enforcement partners to ensure this matter is thoroughly investigated. If anyone has any information about the incident, we ask that they report it to the Virginia Beach Police Department.
We will provide the necessary resources to make sure our students and staff have the services needed as they process this incident.
As always, the safety and security of our students and staff – both physically and emotionally – remains our number one priority.
Dr. Aaron Spence