High School Students Punished for Hanging a Dark-Skinned Baby Doll
Four Washburn High School students in Minneapolis are facing punishment for hanging a dark-skinned baby doll by its neck at school. The incident occurred during the week of Jan. 7 and Minneapolis Public School officials are not taking the it lightly. After-school activities were cancelled for safety concerns following the incident.
Officials also stated that counselors, school staff, and community groups will be available for students upset by the incident, which the district said in its statement “may cause feelings of anger and humiliation for some students.”
The act was captured on the school’s surveillance cameras, and documented on students’ social media accounts. Although school officials have not stated specifically how students were punished, school principal Carol Markham-Cousins sent a letter to parents letting them know about the incident and assuring them that she took “immediate action.” One high school student at Washburn High School says the incident was not racially motivated. “I know the people that did it and I know they didn’t mean it like people have been taking it,” the teen said. “It was just an idiotic thing. They would have done it if it was a purple baby. They would have done it if it was a white baby or any color baby. They were just acting on a whim.”
According to the Minneapolis StarTribune, Washburn has changed markedly in the last several years as the district has enforced attendance boundaries. Whites have replaced blacks as the school’s largest racial group, with white enrollment rising from 21 percent in 2008 to 46 percent last fall. Black share of enrollment fell from 51 percent to 27 percent, while Latino, and Asian populations held relatively steady.