SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Students at Salinas High School created an Instagram account where they posted photos of SHS students posing with a black doll named “Shaniqua”. A video showed two students stomping on the baby. The account has since been deactivated, but a Twitter user kept the screenshots and recording to document his actions.
A parent from Salinas High says she is not surprised by these messages.
“These kids feel comfortable enough to do it on campus at a football game where there are parents, where there are staff and other kids. And you’re going to tell me that all the staff are there and even the parents, no one saw it go on, no one saw that there was something wrong with it, “said Mercedes, parent of a student from Salinas High.
Two members of the school district’s African-American advisory committee say the messages are just a symptom of a larger problem that permeates the culture of some schools, including a lack of diversity education.
“Some of the things in these pictures and with this doll are stereotypes, straightforward stereotypes,” said Sunil Smith.
In comments from several Facebook posts about the incident, parents and residents call him “racist.” The Salinas Union School District said it is currently investigating.
“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 shows how much more support is needed,” the school district said in a statement to KION. “We urge families to also take the time to talk with their students about the harmful effects of racist behavior. Advice is available on all of our school sites for any students who may need support. “
Parents say it’s not the first time something like this has happened at Salinas High and say the change should start at home.
“You have to have these embarrassing conversations. Yes, it’s hard to have these conversations with your babies, I understand, but you have to have these conversations to keep them from getting into situations like this because if you don’t do it, it’s going to keep happening, ”Smith said.
The district did not comment on the disciplinary measures.