More diversity training urged at Santa Monica High after incident

(Los Angeles Times) School district officials say an alleged hate crime targeting a black student at Santa Monica High School remained under investigation and recommended that the Santa Monica-Malibu School District Board of Education redouble its efforts in diversity training.

The school district also should "ensure that all necessary and appropriate support is provided to the student(s) who were adversely affected by the May incident, and their families, during the summer and upcoming school year," the agenda for Thursday night's school board meeting stated.

Outgoing Supt. Tim Cuneo recommended the board increase its diversity training efforts in its professional development programs for administrators and staff and reevaluate the curriculum in regard to race and ethnicity.

According to the student's account given to authorities, he walked into the wrestling room at the school on May 4 and saw a brown wrestling mannequin with a noose around its neck.

He said he was then restrained by two boys who chained his pants to a locker. Classmates also made racially charged remarks, the student said.

Some community activists decried the incident, calling for hate-crime charges to be filed. But others said the incident has been blown out of proportion.

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