Noose found outside Varina High School

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Varina High School noose (PHOTO: Twitter)

Varina High School noose (PHOTO: Twitter)

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - An investigation is underway into who hung a noose from a tree outside Varina High School Wednesday evening, said Henrico County Public Schools spokesman Mychael Dickerson.

"The history of nooses is clearly part of the painful history of this country," said Dickerson.  "For many people this is a symbol and an act that is certainly painful."

School administrators were alerted to the noose around 7:00 p.m. last night, Dickerson said. He added police were called to investigate.

Henrico Police spokeswoman Lt. Linda Toney said officers responded to the school around 7:40 p.m. and that it is being investigated as a "suspicious situation" by school resource officers.

A picture of a noose hanging from a tree was posted onto Twitter and several blogs Wednesday.

Varina High School Junior Tiarra Brown was shocked to see the picture of the noose.

"To see it, it actually showed me that the past is just starting itself all over again," said Brown.

Tiarra Brown's mother actually saw and snapped pictures of the hanging rope.

"When my mom showed me the picture I was really surprised, but then I wasn't because I knew racism was real and seeing that just made my heart break," said Brown.

CBS 6 spoke with several parents who said the incident can stand as a life lesson for the students.

"I'm trying to bring them up right and not be racist," said parent Anthony Harris.  "Then to see something like that is makes me very angry."

"My daughter wouldn't know a thing about it, she's not racist in any way," said parent Lynn McClure.  "She's friends with everybody and it's just scary to know kids this day in age would do that at their high school."

Dickerson said the school system is looking into whether the noose was part of a prank or something more criminal in nature. He added the noose is a "symbol of hate" and the school system would make sure students know this is a "serious issue."

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