black baby doll

Photo via Fonz Newsuan/Facebook

A Black doll was hung from a high school ceiling—but officials say it’s not a race issue

This is not OK.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Oct 12, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 2:30 pm CDT

After photos of a Black baby doll hung by the ceiling of a Pennsylvania high school went viral, the school superintendent has said there was no racial component to the incident. Instead, Dr. Cathy Taschner, the superintendent of the Coatesville Area School District, said it was only a prank.

“After our administrators interviewed team members, both white and Black, it appears that the students said this was a foolish prank and the intent was not to cause racial intimidation,” Taschner wrote to parents and the community this week, via NBC 10.

Taschner said multiple Coatesville Area High School cross country runners found the doll in a trash can while participating in a meet last month. After the students played with it, the team’s coach threw the doll back into the garbage. But it was scooped up by a team member, brought inside the school, and stashed inside an open ceiling tile in the locker room.

Several weeks later, a team member used his tie as a makeshift noose and hung the doll from the ceiling.

At first, Taschner was concerned that it was a hate crime—as being hanged from a noose eludes to a long history of violence for Black Americans—but after talking to team members, she concluded it was supposed to be a joke.

“Regardless, this is foolish and offensive, and not the kind of behavior we expect or accept from our students,” Taschner wrote.

H/T the Root

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*First Published: Oct 12, 2017, 4:02 pm CDT