Disciplinary action has been taken against a California high school student who is said to have initiated students posting “disturbing images and videos” to a since-deleted Instagram account, per Mercury News’ Tess Kenny.
Shaniqua.shs was an Instagram account started by students at Salinas High School that featured photos and videos of a Black baby doll named Shaniqua. The doll’s face was reportedly changed to give it unusually large lips and a facial tattoo.
Before it was removed, the account featured images and videos of students posing with the doll. Some of the content was captioned with racial slurs and in several videos, students can be seen stomping on the doll, as reported by Los Angeles Times’ Melissa Hernandez.
According to a Facebook post from Charles Sanders, whose son and niece both attend Salinas High School, students also drew shackles on the doll’s ankles.
Mercury News reported that more students and parents were made aware of the situation when the doll was handed around at a Friday night football game, prompting the administration to get involved.
Salinas Unified High School District Superintendent Dan Burns announced Monday that a student had been disciplined. While the student’s punishment remains a mystery at this time, Burns said it will be in accordance with CA Ed Code.
Section 201 of California’s Education Code states that, “Harassment on school grounds directed at an individual on the basis of personal characteristics or status creates a hostile environment and jeopardizes equal educational opportunity as guaranteed by the California Constitution and the United States Constitution.”
The following clause says there is an urgent need to prevent and respond to the increasing amount of hate violence and prejudice-related incidents in California public schools.
Burns also pointed out that the student was “not a cheerleader, member of any athletic team, nor a member of the ASB group,” but members of those groups may lose extracurricular privileges due to their involvement in the incident, per Kenny.
In a statement posted to their website, the district said the administration took swift action and launched a full investigation, determined to identify 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,” the statement says, adding that, “Racism and racial injustice are in direct opposition to the District’s values.”