California students sanctioned for racist social media posts
SALINAS, Calif. (AP) – Several high school students in Northern California have been sanctioned after officials learned they posted photos and videos online of a black doll being trampled and driven during a football game .
Students at Salinas High School created an Instagram account called “shaniqua.shs” for a black doll named “Shaniqua” and uploaded images, some with racist captions, and videos of the brutalized doll. The account has since been deleted, but screenshots and recordings of the page continue to circulate on social media.
School officials took note of the footage – some of it taken during a football game last week – and immediately launched an investigation, the district director of Salinas Union High School said, Dan Burns.
“The investigation into the anti-black racism incident at Salinas High School resulted in disciplinary action for those who were directly responsible for both the doll and the social media account that is causing this situation.” Burns said in a statement Thursday. .
The statement did not specify how many students were involved or what discipline they received, citing state law. But at a crowded school board meeting on Tuesday, he said those students would face consequences, including a possible suspension from school.
Jennifer Allen, who has two daughters who attend Salinas High School, called on the school board to hold students accountable.
“What is most appalling is that clearly racist behavior like this is part of a disturbing pattern at Salinas High School, behavior that has gone unpunished and unanswered,” said Allen, who is black, calling him “targeted and predetermined behavior that took place on school grounds.
Students of various ethnicities were involved, the superintendent said, without providing further details. The student body at Salinas Valley High School is over 70% Latin American; 21.5% is white; and only 1% of the school’s students are African American, according to state data.
“We understand that the public is looking for more answers on all parties involved and the penalties imposed,” he said in the statement. Marco Cabrera, spokesperson for the school district, said on Friday that the superintendent had made no comment beyond statements released by the district.
Siena Zuniga, a student at Alisal High School, told the council she was delighted to attend the soccer game last week, but the night was overshadowed by the racist actions of the students and the fact that the Salinas High School staff and security had done nothing to stop them.
“The really sickening action tonight is the lack of action from employees, administrators and campus security at Salinas High School,” Zuniga told the board.
Burns said a third party would review how school officials handled the incident and the district would take a closer look at the root causes of student behavior.
“Let us also not forget that those who have been identified as being involved are children, many of whom are between the ages of 15 and 17. This does not excuse their conduct, but reminds that beyond school punishments, they also need support and opportunities to learn and grow, ”he said in a statement earlier this week.
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