GLEN ST. MARY, Fla. – Photos posted to social media by a Baker County High School student have sparked outage.
One image shows African-American students sitting in a classroom with nooses drawn around their necks. A second shows a black woman with a noose drawn around her.
"I saw it on Snapchat and Facebook," said one teenage boy who attends Baker County High School. "I thought it was kind of crazy."
Students at the high school in Glen St. Mary told News4Jax that the girl who posted the pictures is a classmate, and that school leaders know who she is.
“I heard a student say, 'Have you heard about this picture?' This wasn’t directed to me, this was while I was in the room then a big group of students started talking about it. The teacher got involved and said, 'Oh let me see.' And that’s how I first saw it and I thought it was definitely appalling and definitely crossed the line for sure," said one female student. “I’ve hear a lot of people try to speak about what the student’s intentions were behind it -- whether or not it was a threat, or whether or not she was just joking.”
One parent, whose child attends Baker County High, also expressed outrage about the pictures.
"To think that kids think this is OK -- it's not. This is hard to even put into words. It's just total, utter disgust," Gaylene Shoemaker said. "That's not a joking matter. There's nothing to joke about what so ever. Whether it was a threat or kids thinking it was cute and fun, it wasn't."
Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson sent News4Jax the following statement:
"The Baker County School District along with the Baker County Sheriff's Office has initiated an investigation. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in the Baker County School System."
If investigators determine the pictures were part of a racist threat, the student could be charged with a hate crime, and hate crimes are generally handed over to the FBI.