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Roosevelt school board fires two employees, suspends a third, superintendent says

School District Superintendent Marnie Hazelton did not disclose the names of the employees or the reason for the terminations. 

 The Roosevelt school board voted at its meeting Tuesday night to terminate two district employees and suspend a third, calling it a "personnel matter," according to district Superintendent Marnie Hazelton. (Credit: News 12 Long Island)

The Roosevelt school board voted Tuesday night to terminate two district employees and suspend a third, according to School District Superintendent Marnie Hazelton.

Hazelton did not disclose the names of the employees or the reason for the terminations. She declined to elaborate, calling it a "personnel matter."

Roosevelt school board members and teachers union officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The move comes five weeks after the school district placed three teachers on paid administrative leave after images of two nooses — part of a photographic collage — were displayed in a Roosevelt Middle School classroom.

The collage showed pictures of middle school teachers and students, as well as images of sticker hearts, an apple, a smiley face and phrases such as "Hey Beautiful." The photos of two nooses, labeled as “back to school necklaces,” are near the bottom of the display, surrounded by the words “Ha” and “#YES.”

It was not clear who created the collage, how or when it came to be in the classroom, or whether students had seen it during school hour.

The images prompted outrage among members of the Roosevelt community.

Last month, a statement on the Roosevelt school district website said the school board has "zero tolerance for the display of racially offensive images." The district had launched an investigation while the teachers were on leave.

Historically, the noose has symbolized violence perpetrated against African-Americans.

Half of the district's more than 3,200 students are Latino, and about 49 percent are African-American, according to state Education Department data for the 2017-18 school year. The middle school, which serves grades seven and eight, has more than 450 students — 55 percent are Latino and nearly 45 percent are African-American, according to the state data.

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