Nooses, Racial Slurs Investigated at Rival High Schools in Bellflower, Lakewood

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Students at Mayfair High School staged a peace march Friday morning as authorities investigate potential hate crimes involving nooses found hanging from trees at two high school campuses in Lakewood and Bellflower.

The nooses were discovered at Bellflower and Mayfair high schools, which are both part of the Bellflower Unified School District. Authorities were investigating whether the nooses were part of Halloween pranks by the rival schools.

Racial slurs and swastikas spray painted on campus buildings were also discovered at Bellflower High School.

Droves of students walked out of class Friday, believing the vandalism raised more serious concerns than a prank gone too far. Andrea Bereal, the parent of the student who organized the peaceful walkout, agreed.

"The message that we're unified, that the schools support each other an racism is unnaceptable," Bereal said.

Investigators were trying to determine whether there is a connection between the racial slurs and the nooses, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

There are no suspects in either case, officials said.

Mayfair school staff did not comment on the investigation, but officials at Bellflower said extra security guards have been placed on campus.

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