Washburn High Community Meets to Move Forward

Updated: 01/24/2013 7:15 AM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz

Parents, students and staff from Washburn High School in Minneapolis are trying to look forward after students found a black doll hanging by its neck at the school on Jan. 11.

On Wednesday night, a crowd of several hundred gathered at the high school for a community meeting.

"I think that the people really didn't mean to hurt anybody and that it was just an ignorant mistake," one student said.

"Lots of confusion, anger, sadness," said another.  

Parents were not notified until 5 days after the incident.

"It's hard to figure out how to communicate, it's hard to stay ahead of social media, it's hard to find out who is responsible," Markham-Cousins told the crowd.

Several students asked for an apology from those responsible.

"What would help our school overcome this is an apology from the four students," said one student.

"The action that brought everyone here tonight was a mistake, a very big mistake. However that does not change the seriousness of it. As a white student in very diverse district, I am well aware and sensitive to the power this image evokes," said another student.

"It's hard to figure out when something is this horrific, how do you go forward. And it's been a journey, and its going to continue to be," said Markham-Cousins.

The District says it is now working on adjusting social studies standards.

Four students were disciplined for their involvement in the incident. The district will not say how they were punished, citing student privacy.