I'm not someone who's an expert on high schools or anything, but these days, don't they tend to have rules and laws about how you can't bring weapons to school campuses and stuff?
Nooses are murder weapons, right? There's really no other reason for a rope to be set up like a noose except to make it useful to murder someone (or kill some animal, I suppose).
So how come the three students who brought murder weapons to the school campus and displayed them in the open got only three days suspension?
And if the murder weapons were brought to school and displayed in order to intimidate and coerce, in other words, in order to terrorize, civilians, how come they don't come under terrorism laws? Seriously, go read various legal code definitions of terrorism and tell me that those nooses weren't terrorism. Yeah, maybe not on a huge scale, but the laws don't say anything about scale, just intimidation, coercion, and violence.
Here are several definitions in US law of terrorism, collected here (my boldfacing):
The United States has defined terrorism under the Federal Criminal Code. Chapter 113B of Part I of Title 18 of the United States Code defines terrorism and lists the crimes associated with terrorism. In Section 2331 of Chapter 113b, terrorism is defined as:
"..activities that involve violent... <or life-threatening acts>... that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State and... appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and ...
U.S. Code of Federal Regulations:
"...the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives" (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).
The FBI defines terrorism as
the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
USA PATRIOT Act:
"activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state, that (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S."
If you read about confessions in early modern England, sometimes you'll read that someone was "shown the instruments of torture" and then started talking. The idea is that you don't actually have to break someone on a rack or whatever to induce a confession. In modern terms, you don't actually have to shoot someone to get them to give you a wallet. The implication is that you have the ability and will to inflict pain and damage, and you can sometimes coerce someone to act differently than they would if you weren't demonstrating that ability and will.
I can't imagine what was in the minds of the students who brought the nooses to their school and hung them up. Did they really imagine that this sort of coercion would work today? Did they imagine that there was any way violence wouldn't escalate as a result of their act(s)?
In contrast, I find it easy to imagine what was in the minds of the students who reacted to the nooses and verbal taunts. I may be wrong, but I know I would have been thinking that I wouldn't put up with that sort of coercion, that I wouldn't be intimidated. I'm not excusing the use of violence, but I can see myself going there if pushed hard enough.