Community Meeting Planned Over Washburn Doll Incident
Students hung dark-skinned doll by neck, spread picture on social media.
In the wake of a grotesque Jan. 11 bullying incident at Washburn High School, the school district is organizing a community meeting to "promote discussion and healing."
In the incident, publicly revealed on Thursday, Jan. 17, four Washburn students hung an dark-skinned doll from a school staircase using a piece of string tied around its neck. According to Principal Carol Markham-Cousins, the students then snapped photos of the dangling figure and posted them on unnamed social media websites with the apparent intent to bully classmates.
According to the Star-Tribune, Washburn canceled after-school activities in the wake of the incident. So far, the Washburn parents and teachers that Patch has contacted have not responded to questions about how the incident is impacting students and the school community.
District officials said the perpetrators were all caught and disciplined. However, they are staying tight-lipped about what actions were taken, and are refusing to comment on rumors that one or more students involved were suspended or expelled. In an interview with Patch, a district spokesperson said the students involved would also be "standing up and taking responsibility for their actions" in front of members of the school community during "restorative justice" meetings.
The district has said it's working with interfaith group ISAIAH to promote "deeper conversations" around the incident.
A community meeting to "promote discussion and healing" has been scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Washburn auditorium, according to an district announcement.
"All school district stakeholders – students, teachers, staff, elected officials and community members – are invited to attend the meeting," the announcement says.