Doll abuse and hangings at private school sparks outrage
The fallout from Trinity College students bashing and hanging baby dolls has escalated with petitioners calling on the school board to take action against racism.
The petition, which alleges the school "is not a safe space" for minorities, was backed by several thousand online account signatories.
It claims the school is "not new to racial incidents; majority of the incidents are swept under the rug and the feelings of the victims are repeatedly disregarded".
The petition will call on the school board to require students and teachers "undergo year-long trainings on cultural sensitivity".
Trinity College head Nick Hately said the school takes "a strong stance against racism".
The claims of racism follow an incident at the Gawler school last week where a group of Year 11 students pretended to hang and assault baby dolls they had been using for parental-care lessons.
The students posted at least two videos on social media, involving one white and one black-skinned doll.
The students had been looking after the dolls for three days to simulate what it's like being a parent.
"Several students thought it would be funny to film themselves deliberately mistreating the simulators," Mr Hately said in a message to parents and the school community.
"They made videos of themselves smacking, banging the simulators on a table, swinging them around by the arms and tying them from their hats up a tree.
"Clearly, the behaviour was appalling and juvenile and appropriate consequences, re-education and support were provided."
Seven students were given some form of suspension after the incident last week.
Some of the other students who saw the videos raised concerns the hanging could be racially motivated but the offending students "categorically denied" this.
"Some of our senior students have, understandably, had a hard time accepting this," Mr Hately said.
"We take a strong stance against racism."
The dolls, which contain electronic monitoring equipment, are being assessed for damage for which the students would be liable.
The school is expected to respond to allegations made in the petition later on Friday.
Originally published as Doll abuse at private school sparks anti-racism petition