SAN RAMON, Calif. (KRON) — An East Bay high school cheer team is under scrutiny after the group was accused of racism over photos circulating on social media.
Over the weekend, photos posted on the California High School varsity cheer team’s Instagram account show the nearly all-white members posing with a Black mannequin head. On Monday, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District sent an email to parents and the community, vowing to make changes.
“On Saturday, the District was made aware that the Cal High Cheer Stunt team has a mascot that has had a hurtful racist impact, and we are deeply troubled by the harm that this situation has caused both in our school community and beyond. The mascot, which is a dark-skinned head that would be used in a cosmetology class, is intolerable for its offensive and racist implications,” the district said.
“This hateful and hurtful image does not represent the values of San Ramon Valley Unified School District. While we are working in earnest to bring the systemic changes needed to our schools to ensure that they are safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all, it is clear that our work must continue. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to call out and eliminate racist acts.”
The photos began circulating online after the cheer team posted the photos on their Instagram account. The team has since deleted its Instagram page but not before an account called @theblackbayarea took screenshots and posted them on their page.
Superintendent John Malloy says the investigation into the incident is ongoing and plans to meet with all parties involved. In Monday’s address to the campus community, Malloy acknowledged the need for more training on these types of discrimination and hate incidents.
“We are saddened and frustrated by this, and we will do better to make sure all our schools are safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for every child, family, and staff member, especially those who are most harmed by racism and discrimination,” Malloy said.