Watch CBS News

Super: Black Puppet Found 'Hanging' At NJ H.S. A 'Troubling Incident'

CLARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Officials are investigating after a black puppet was found hanging by its neck in a room where a northern New Jersey high school's girls' basketball team was changing before a game.

Players from Plainfield High School discovered the puppet hanging from its neck by a string in the room they were provided at Arthur L. Johnson High School before they squared off against the Clark school on Saturday. A basketball was also tied to the string.

Some students found the hanging puppet to be a disturbing reminder of a lynching, WCBS 880's Sean Adams reported.

Officials said the students were changing in a room where puppetry is taught, raising questions on whether or not the puppet was an intentional act of racial intimidation -- or just a misunderstanding.

A woman identified only as a mother of a student at the high school told the puppet belonged to a student in her son's class, and was intended to be a recreation of basketball player LeBron James. The woman told the newspaper she was "deeply sorry" the students at Plainfield High School viewed the puppet in a demeaning way. 

Superintendent Anna Belin-Pyles says the Plainfield Public School District doesn't condone any acts of intolerance and she considers the "troubling incident'' a serious matter.

Clark Public Schools officials have promised to look into the incident. Belin-Pyles says Plainfield officials will help investigate the facts and present their own findings.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.