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Parents react to images of Black baby doll at Salinas High School

salinas high school
Salinas High School

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Salinas High School students created an Instagram account where they posted photos of SHS students posing with a Black baby doll named "Shaniqua." One video showed two students stomping on the baby. The account has since been deactivated, but one Twitter user kept the screenshots and recording to document their actions.

One Salinas High parent says she isn't surprised by these posts. 

"These kids feel comfortable enough to do this on campus at a football game where there's parents, where there's staff members and other children. And, you're going to tell me all of the staff being around and even parents, nobody saw this go on, nobody saw that there was something wrong with this," said Mercedes, a parent of a Salinas High student.

Two members of the African American Advisory Committee for the school district say these posts are just a symptom of a larger issue permeating the culture of some schools, including a lack of diversity education.

"Some of the things in those pictures and that was with that doll are stereotypes, direct stereotypes, said Sunil Smith.

In the comments of several Facebook posts about the incident, parents and residents are calling it "racist." Salinas Union High School District said they are currently investigating.

"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 school district said in a statement to KION. "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."

Parents say this isn't the first time something like this has happened at Salinas High and say that change should start at home.

"You gotta have these awkward conversations. Yes, it's tough to have these conversations with your babies, I get it, but you have to have these conversations to avoid them putting themselves in situations like this because if you don't, it's going to keep happening," said Smith.

The district provided no comment regarding disciplinary action.

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Stephanie Aceves

Stephanie Aceves is a former multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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