Apparent Noose Found Near Oakland Elementary School

Oakland school district officials are looking into another rope found near an elementary school campus that some community members believe could be a noose.

On Friday, a school staff member found the rope attached to a batting cage at the baseball field near Chabot Elementary.

Candase Chambers is the mother of a 9-year-old ballplayer and believes whoever put the rope there intended to spark a reaction.

"It does look like a noose to me," Chambers said. "That was the first thing I thought when I saw it. I think that was the intention of the person who left it there, was to create fear for people like me."

Chambers' son doesn’t go to the school, but she’s concerned.

"They found a rope tied up that had some loops hanging down on the bottom, so it certainly resembles the whole idea of a noose," school district spokesman John Sasaki said. "That has brought up all these feelings that have been very raw here the last couple weeks. We're inspecting it, we're investigating it, our police are on it."

Last month, a rope was found on a school fence, and families were worried. The district later said a child said he found it and threw it to get it out of the way. It appeared not be intentional.

"Obviously, it's very distressing as a parent," Glen Chen said. "Obviously, you always want to be cognizant and not blow it out of proportion. It's very turbulent times that we live in. So it's one of those things where you just want to stay positive and protect your kids; just be smart and conscious."

The FBI was notified and told the district it didn't find enough evidence indicating either incident is a hate crime. The district says the baseball program, which is on city property, offered another possible explanation.

"They have seen teenagers climbing up on the batting cage to hang out, shall we say, and they think maybe that rope was used to get up and come down off the top of the batting cage," Sasaki said.

Still families are bothered, and the community has planned an anti-hate vigil.

The district superintendent and school police chief will attend the vigil to show support.

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