Washburn High students hung black doll from neck in school stairwell [IMAGE]

This prank may culminate in a Neo-Nazi rally at Washburn later this afternoon.
This prank may culminate in a Neo-Nazi rally at Washburn later this afternoon.
Submitted image

:::: UPDATE :::: Washburn High parent concerned black doll incident could lead to racial violence [INTERVIEW]

A handful of Washburn High School students were disciplined after a black doll was found hanging from a noose in a school stairwell on January 11.

SEE ALSO: Obama effigy hangs from Duluth billboard [PHOTO]

The Independent Business News Network's Don Allen reports that three students were suspended for one day (January 18 update: Though the school still hasn't publicly disclosed the punishments, it appears four students were suspended for as many as four days and one student may have been expelled.) But  the most interesting part of Allen's post pertains to how a white pride group plans to respond to the suspensions.

From IBNN:

Today, January 17th at 4:30 p.m. - a community "open" meeting will be held at Washburn High School located at 201 W 49th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419...

The Lincoln Brigade of the Republican Party from Springfield, Illinois has alerted IBNN NEWS that a Neo-Nazis organization from southern Minnesota is organizing in support of "white" rights and will attend tonight's meeting at Washburn High School in Minneapolis...

The Minnesota Alliance of Black School Educators (MABSE), invites every black organization including the Minneapolis Urban League, NAACP, Student African American Brotherhood & Sisterhood, Black Man Stand Up Movement, AME and other black student groups are encouraged to attend this meeting about race, racism and how in 2013 this could happen.

The Star Tribune reports that students distributed images of the hanging doll via social media. Security cameras also captured footage of the incident.

Ron Edwards -- the same African-American community activist who accused the Timberwolves of stuffing their roster with white players in hopes of selling tickets to white fans -- told the Strib the hanging doll incident is "causing things to reach a very dangerous level."

Washburn High School Principal Carol Markham-Cousins wrote a letter to parents denouncing the behavior of the students. Click to page two to read it in its entirety.

:::: UPDATE ::::

2:40 p.m. -- David Brauer reports that the community meeting discussed by Don Allen is a bunch of baloney:


Dear Washburn Community,

This week's message addresses an incident that happened at our school on Friday, January 11. Near the end of the school day, a small group of students engaged in an insensitive activity that involved dangling a dark-skinned baby doll by its neck with a piece of string. Students recorded the incident and images were posted on social media sites. School security cameras also captured the events.

An image such as the one described causes feelings of anger and humiliation, and we intend to provide a safe space for productive conversations to take place. I was informed after school on Friday and took immediate action. We are committed to following the school district's code of conduct in any instance of inappropriate behavior.

This is an extremely disturbing occurrence and not reflective of the Miller Pride that we promote. Such insensitive behavior is intolerable in our school and school district, both of which are full of diversity and rich in culture.

Due to the gravity of this incident, we are responding in several ways. Aside from following the school district's code of conduct in any instance of inappropriate behavior, we will be creating opportunities for these students to take responsibility for their actions through restorative measures. We are also seeking opportunities for students to work with our community partners who provide support services so they have the resources they need to be successful.

Because references have been posted on social media sites and students are talking about the incident, it is imperative that our community receives this message and understands that we are aggressively responding. Parents can help their students be safe on social media by teaching them about appropriate behavior, empathy, and how to report abuse to the website administrators and trusted adults at school or elsewhere.

We will promote open dialogue between students and staff in order to learn from this unfortunate episode and create opportunities to talk about race and respect.

Thank you.

Carol Markham-Cousins
Principal, Washburn High School

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