CROFTON, Md. — A man who pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime by hanging a noose outside of a Crofton middle school delivered a public apology as part of an unusual plea agreement.

Nineteen-year-old Conner Prout on Tuesday stood before roughly 60 people at a meeting of the Caucus of African American Leaders and apologized for his role in a stunt that sent Crofton Middle School students running to the guidance counselor’s office in tears, the Capital reports .

Prout’s apology was part of a plea agreement in which the man was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 120 hours of community service.

Prout told the judge, and repeated in his apology, that he wasn’t aware of the racial implications of the noose but that he was sorry to those he offended.

Information from: The Capital,