More than 100 adults stood near Haven and Kingsley schools Monday morning, demonstrating to children on their way to classes that the community categorically rejects the appearance of nooses near those schools last week.
“Some kids may not want to attend here,” because of the ugly meaning of those nooses, said Chareth Williams, a District 65 parent, at the 7:30 a.m. event.
“Others,” she added, “may not be able to focus.”
That’s why, Williams said, it was critical for adults to show the students that they care.
The three nooses were discovered on a tree between Haven Middle School and Kingsley Elementary School on Friday afternoon.
While the timing coincided with a student sit-in at Haven, in support of teachers who were being transferred to other buildings, Evanston Police say at this point it’s unclear whether the nooses were connected to the student protest.
Tami Manton, a parent of District 65 and District 202 graduates, was among those who lined the sidewalk.
Even though her kids are now adults who no longer live in Evanston, Manton said they are very aware of the noose incident, and “I think they’re sickened by it,” she stated.
Manton said that while at first glance, Evanston is as progressive as any community in America, “there’s a lot beneath the surface that’s uglier than we think.”
Police have said some juveniles were seen with nooses during recess on Friday, but no one has yet been identified.
Williams said whether it was children or adults who put up the nooses, “either way, the history behind it is traumatizing.”
“People don’t think of the repercussions” of something like this, she noted. “It has more meaning to some than to others.”
District 65 Board President Sergio Hernandez was also among the demonstrators.
Having such a large crowd was “super-important,” Hernandez said.
“It’s been a really tough year” at Haven, he noted.
“We just have to make sure that at the end of the day we are supporting children.”
Update 2:20 p.m.: Evanston Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew tells Evanston Now that investigators are trying to determine whether there is any surveillance camera video of the area that might show the noose incident, and, if there is, that video will be checked.
There was no other comment from the police at this time.