An investigation is underway at two Los Angeles-area campuses after nooses were found hanging from trees at Bellflower and Mayfair high schools.
Racial slurs and swastikas were also found spraypainted on campus buildings at Bellflower High. Investigators are trying to determine whether there's a connection between the graffiti and the nooses — and whether the incidents constitute a hate crime or just a Halloween prank between rival schools gone too far.
In response to all of this, concerned students staged a peaceful walkout Friday morning at Mayfair.
Andrea Bereal, parent of one of the students who organized the march, told KPCC media partner NBC4 that the students organized via social media to send a message.
"The message that we're unified, that the school supports each other, and that racism is not acceptable," Bereal said.
Mayfair school staff did not comment on the investigation or the march, but officials at Bellflower say they've beefed up security on campus.
The noose at Mayfair was found Wednesday morning, according to a release from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
"We take these cases very seriously," the Sheriff's Department said in the release. "We are assisting the school staff in the investigation and determining if there is any criminal activity associated with this investigation."
According to the release, Lakewood Sheriff's Station is investigating what happened. They note that deputies will be patrolling neighborhood schools and they ask anyone with information to contact the Sheriff's Department.
Read the details from the Sheriff's Department on how to make a report with information in this case below:
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lakewood Station, Lieutenat Stahl at (562) 623-3500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.