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One Teacher Faces Firing, Others Reprimanded in Noose Incident


A teacher at a north Louisiana elementary school may be fired and three others face reprimands for placing a noose around a child’s neck during a demonstration about racism.

The Sept. 20 incident happened at Alma J. Brown Elementary School, which is run by Grambling State University, a historically Black college.

During a schoolyard assembly held in light of a huge civil rights demonstration in the central Louisiana town of Jena, teachers were discussing lynchings. At one point, a teacher placed a noose around the neck of a kindergartner.

Earlier this week an investigation team including GSU Provost and Vice President Robert Dixon, GSU President Horace Judson, College of Education Dean Sean Warner and Alma J. Brown principal Regina Gregory recommended the sanctions following a weeklong investigation in early October.

“We’re making sure the notification documents at this point in the process are legally appropriate,” Judson said.

The firing of Irene Booker, the teacher who placed the noose around the child’s neck, must be approved at a formal hearing where she will be able to present her side of the story, said Ralph Wilson, a Grambling spokesman. Booker is the kindergartner’s grandmother, Booker, Dixon said.

“I know it seems we’ve gone slow,” Dixon said. “We have made an effort to make sure that due process was followed for each of the individuals involved.”

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