Noose found hanging outside Gotha Middle School, officials say

WINDERMERE, Fla. — A noose was found tied and hanging outside an Orange County middle school Wednesday, officials said.

Students and staff at Gotha Middle School in Windermere saw the noose when they arrived at the campus in the morning and called law enforcement.

“We saw it hanging up, and we reported it to a teacher who walked by, because we didn’t think it was right,” said student Jakob Oakley.

Oakley, an eighth grader, and his friends thought at first that the rope was part of a project.

“I don’t feel like it is right to hang up something like that. That could scare a lot of people,” he said.

The school sent a robocall to parents alerting them of the incident.

Oakley said the noose was all anyone was talking about in the hallways.

“A lot of people were wondering who hung it up,” he said.

Oakley said the sight had him and his classmates thinking back on lessons of racism from their history books.

“I don’t really know if it was a racist move, but it wasn’t right,” he said.

Authorities are investigating.

Extra security remained on campus Wednesday, and counseling was available to staff and students.

Follow Channel 9's Lauren Seabrook on Twitter and watch Eyewitness News starting at 5 p.m. for the latest on the investigation. 

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