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High school basketball player finds racist drawing in locker room

A high school basketball player from West Virginia said he walked into a guest locker room at a rival school and found a racist drawing on the wall. The student, Jace Colucci, said a stick figure with a noose was drawn with his name and an arrow written next to it.

Colucci, a 17-year-old junior at Westside High School, was at nearby Wyoming East High School for a game on January 17, CBS Lewisburg affiliate WVNS reports. He took a photo of the racist drawing and showed it to his mother.

His mom, Erica Ayers, went to the authorities and is demanding action from the school and law enforcement. "He shouldn't have to go through this just to get an education," Ayers told WVNS. "It was a racial threat of him hanging from a noose and to me… they crossed a line."

Ayers, who is white, said her son is mixed-race. She said this is not the first time her son was targeted at the school. 

"Last year, before we were heading to East, I received a phone call that a video had surfaced on Snapchat and it was kids chanting 'Hang Jace! Hang Jace!," Ayers said. 

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Jace Colucci Jim Cook

Deputies are now investigating the drawing, Wyoming County Prosecutor Mike Cochrane said. "We have a senior officer with Wyoming County Sheriffs Department who is looking into the investigation. He's going to pull all the [surveillance] videos and do an intensive investigation," Cochrane said.

The county's board of education is also investigating. "Wyoming County Schools takes all reports of bullying or harassment, of any kind, very seriously," the board said in a statement. "We have Zero Tolerance for any form of bullying or harassment. These drawings and their origin will be investigated, thoroughly, and any necessary action will be taken."

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This image shows the racist drawing.  WVNS

Ayers said she feels like administrators failed her son by letting racist behavior toward him to continue. "There is no room for being racist or bigots in this town," she said. "I mean something has to change."

CBS News has reached out to the Wyoming County Board of Education and Wyoming East High School for comment

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