'To hell with your consistent racism': California school district in turmoil after students' 'hate crime' outrages community
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California high school students and their principal face possible discipline amid intense outrage over an incident in which seniors abused a black baby doll named Shaniqua, with photos and video posted on social media, during a football jamboree last Friday.

Protesters packed the parking lot and board room of the Salinas Unified High School District on Tuesday, delivering four hours of public comment in which one Black football player referred to the incident as a "hate crime," according to a report from the Mercury News.

Many of the speakers stressed that the incident involving the Shaniqua baby doll — which included "lips painted to look larger, added facial tattoos and a drawn-on ankle monitor" — was not an isolated one. The social media posts showed students using racial slurs, stomping on the doll, running it over with a vehicle and placing it in sexually suggestive positions, according to reports.

"My friends and I are tired of being the punchline to your jokes," one Salinas high school senior told the school board. "To hell with your consistent racism and intolerance."

"It's not just the Friday jamboree," said a former Salinas student who's now a senior at another high school in the district. "It's Monday when I go to school and I hear the N-word in the hallways. It's Tuesday when in my math class, they won't listen to my opinion because apparently, Latinas don't know math."

According to Voices of Monterey Bay, Naveah Drummer, a member of the Black Girls Magic Club at Rancho San Juan High School, testified that the baby doll abused by students "reminded me of me when I was a little baby. That baby represents me, represents so many other black girls. It broke my heart because I'm being targeted for living, for being a black girl when I'm just like everyone else."

District superintendent Dan Burns told the crowd that the students involved could face suspension from school, removal from extra-curricular activities such as athletics, and mandatory attendance in restorative justice and healing sessions, the Mercury News reported. In addition, principal Elizabeth Duethman will not be at Salina High School next week after she was accused of telling Hispanic students that a rail they decorated at the football game looked like a "border wall." Duethman has denied making the comment, but the investigation is continuing. Finally, Salinas High School's scheduled home football game this week has been moved to another venue.

But speakers at the meeting indicated that all of those consequences won't be enough if the district and its schools don't begin to instill "recognition, education and respect."

"Some of the Salinas High students shared with me that they did not know what the doll represented but continued to follow, like and even comment on the doll's page," one student told the board. "This means the school is not doing a good job to teach the history of my culture and many more…We are reliving history because it is not being taught."