Police have not yet released the identity of the victim found hanging from a fence in a playground adjacent to Markham Intermediate School in Graniteville early Thursday morning, an NYPD spokesman said, according to the Staten Island Advance.
An investigation is ongoing and the city medical examiner's office is determining the cause of death, the spokesman said.
Police described the victim as a 52-year-old, Hispanic male.
Students were rushed into the school by the principal and several deans after the gruesome discovery was made in Markham Playground.
"The school is not closed for the day," said a spokeswoman for the city Department of Education.
"We are providing counseling services at the school."
Brianna Fischer, a 12-year-old seventh-grader, said the day started like every other morning: She walked into playground, where students typically hang out before classes.
But what she found was anything but normal.
Brianna said she was brought to a guidance counselor's office, along with other students who saw the body before it was covered with a drape and removed by police.
Her father, Shawn, said he was called by the guidance counselor.
"None of the kids were allowed out without their parents," he said.
One mother of a Markham student said students were using their cell phones -- or borrowing cell phones from friends or teachers -- to call their parents.She said the students were not sent to their classrooms, but were instead spli
The body was hanging from a rope that was attached to a chain-link fence, which serves as the backstop behind home plate, according a witness account.
Streets around the school were closed during the morning to both cars and pedestrians.
Cops working to identify victim found hanging from fence in Staten Island playground
Staten Island Advance - October 17, 2013 - By Stephanie Slepian and James Yates