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Third-party investigation planned

OW Staff | 11/2/2011, 5 p.m.

In the wake of a finding by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department that there was no probable cause any staff member or employee of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District acted in such a manner that supports an allegation of criminal misconduct during a racial incident in May, the board of education directed that a third-party investigation begin.

The investigation will examine the incident to determine whether existing policies, practices, and procedures were followed immediately following the incident and to make recommendations about changes that should be made. Results of this investigation will be made public upon the investigation's completion.

The sheriff investigation arose out of claims that school district employees might have intimidated victims and/or witnesses and destroyed evidence in a racial incident where an African American student at Santa Monica High School says he walked into the school's wrestling room on May 4 and found a brown practice mannequin with a noose tied around its neck. Then, after he proceeded to the locker room to change, two of his wrestling teammates restrained him and used a cable and lock to chain his pants to a locker. The students allegedly made racial remarks as well.