California High School students investigated for racist incident involving baby doll

A California High School is investigating an incident involving a black baby doll that students named “Shaniqua” and created an Instagram page for it after drawing on the doll, putting an ankle monitor on it, and swinging by its neck with a bandana.

“They drew crosses on the eyes, they put a bandana around her neck and was spinning her around. And they put an ankle monitor, and it’s just really disgusting,” said Julian Henderson, a Salinas High School senior.

The doll was brought out during a Football event on Friday night. Cheerleaders were seen taking photos with the doll and posting the images to the doll’s Instagram page. The Instagram page for the doll listed its pronouns as Ze/Zir. The doll’s profile is now listed as private. The page had 70 followers and 30 posts before being taken down.

Screenshot: Shaniqua.shs Instagram page.

“It was wrong, and some people probably thought it was a joke, but most people probably didn’t take it as a joke, so I think someone should’ve realized before they took it out to go like, ‘Hey, that’s not right,'” said James Flores, a Salinas High senior.

School administrators launched a full investigation into the allegedly racist matter, and district Superindentent Dan Burns said the student responsible was identified.

“The student that initiated this incident is not a cheerleader, member of any athletic team, nor a member of the ASB group,” Burns said in a statement. He said the student would be punished under the California Education Code.

“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,” the school said in a statement.

“This really is messed up for that to happen. For me, I think they deserve to get suspended,” said Catalina Perez, a Salinas High freshman.

Burns said that students of various ethnicities were involved, not just white students, and he is contacting a third party to “review all of the aspects of racism, hate, and discrimination” at the school.

The local NAACP chapter responded to the incident, saying they were “saddened and outraged by the racist actions.”

After meeting with district leaders, Yvonne Thomas, the local NAACP chapter president, said they need to “send a strong message and make it crystal clear that there will be consequences to their very serious actions.”