Students at Salinas High School in Salinas, California, are under investigation after images and video footage of them with a black baby doll surfaced online.
The students apparently created an Instagram account and posted photos of them carrying the doll named "Shaniqua." One video posted on the account, with the handle "shaniqua.shs" even showed two students stomping on the doll.
The account was deleted after the images went viral. However, a Twitter user managed to take screen shots and recordings of the alleged posts:
The images were reportedly taken at a at a Football Jamboree that took place on Friday, 20th August, at the school's at Rabobank Stadium. The controversy drew additional attention after TikTok user @auntkaren01, who is known to expose racists through her videos, posted a video on the alleged racism.
According to a Change.org petition that has already amassed more than 4,000 signatures, the students were using the doll to spread hate towards the black community. The petition demanded that the school, which it claims has had previous incidents of racism against people of color, address the situation and punish the students involved.
Students Under Investigation Over 'Disturbing' Images
In the wake of the controversy, the Salinas Union High School District (SUHSD) released a statement on Sunday condemning the racist behavior of the students and said the students' identities were being investigated. The statement read as follows:
"On Saturday, August 21st, Salinas High School administration became aware of disturbing images and videos circulating on social media. The District administration promptly initiated a full investigation which will include identifying those who were directly involved.
The SUHSD does not condone this type of behavior and although the District has taken steps to support our African American students and staff, this recent incident demonstrates how much more support is needed. We urge families to also take time to talk with their students about the damaging effects of racist behavior. Counseling is available at all of our school sites for any students who may need support.
Racism and racial injustice are in direct opposition to the District's values. Our District will continue our efforts to show that racism and racial injustice have no place in our schools. We are committed to maintaining a safe, positive school environment where all students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members are treated with respect and dignity."