Students at Damonte Ranch high school in Reno, Nevada, may be going through a much-needed diversity training in the upcoming weeks. This, after a homecoming parade included a Black mannequin being dragged by a student in a cowboy costume.

According to a local NBC-affiliate, the display was a part of a student-conceptualized float where the school’s mascot, a mustang, was supposed to use a rope to lasso a student (not a mannequin) dressed up as the opposing school’s mascot, a knight. Instead, a number of events led to what came off as a racially insensitive moment.

“This incident and the behavior of those responsible is utterly inconsistent with our collective commitment to equity, diversity, responsibility, and kindness for all of our students and staff members,” read a statement on the district’s website that followed the Friday night incident. The school also launched an investigation into what occurred. 

Students at Damonte Ranch high school are seen dragging a black mannequin from the back of a homecoming float.
Students at Damonte Ranch high school are seen dragging a black mannequin from the back of a homecoming float. (Photo: Washoe County School District)

In an incident report obtained by NBC News, students say the mannequin idea came about after a plan to use a blow-up doll fell through. In addition, the reason the mannequin ended up being dragged was that it would not stand up on the float where it was originally supposed to be placed. As far as the color, that was explained away by saying it was supposed to be gray but students could not find one to purchase online. 

The report also claims that the students intended to “demonstrate a traditional, friendly rivalry.” That plan, however, went terribly wrong.

The district said action will be taken against those responsible for the incident. According to their statement, this may entail a formal apology as well as  “schoolwide redoubling of efforts around civil rights, equity, and diversity training.” 

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