IMSA begins disciplinary proceedings for student in noose case

Disciplinary proceedings have begun for a student accused of displaying a black doll with a noose around its neck at the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora.

The school's president, Jose Torres, released more details about the case in a "Personal Reflections" essay posted Wednesday on IMSA's website. The school also sent information Friday to parents, students, staff members and alumni via email.

The student's name has not been released.

Torres' essay said the doll was found Sept. 17 in a student lounge in the main building. Someone had tied a pink piece of cloth around a bronze-skinned Barbie-style doll's throat, and pinned it on a cork board.

School officials took the doll down, began reviewing security videos, and interviewed students who had been in the lounge when the doll was discovered. They also reported the matter to Aurora police.

Police spokesman Paris Lewbel said they took a report Tuesday "but we were told that Illinois Math and Science Academy would handle this administratively. We are not investigating."

Torres said he did not learn of the case until Sept. 20. Going forward, he said, any alleged cases of bias will be reported to him immediately.

On Thursday night, student council members, multicultural advocates, peer multicolor educators and the Black Student Union led discussions about race, including the history of lynching of black people, in the school's residence halls.

According to the 2018 state report card, about 8% of IMSA's students are black. Another 5.7% are multiracial, nearly 9% are Hispanic, 41% are Asian and 35% are white.

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