/  06.02.2022

An all-white high school cheerleading squad from the Bay Area has come under fire after photos surfaced of team members holding a Black mannequin head that was reportedly used as a mascot named “Kareem.”

The troubling post gained widespread attention after an Instagram account called “The Black Bay Area” reposted screenshots of the images.

According to NBC Bay Area, the students seem to be members of the California High School varsity cheer team. San Ramon Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. John Malloy commented on the situation saying, “That is not something that we can accept, nor will we tolerate.”

Malloy continued, “We don’t accept this. We understand that it’s wrong, and we also understand that it’s harming some members of our community more than others – especially those who may identify as Black or African American.”

The images of the cheerleaders posing with “Kareem” remain on The Black Bay Area’s Instagram account after photos first circulated late last month. The post says the team has not had any Black cheerleaders on their team since 2019, and even then, there was only one.

Angelica Tucker is a local parent with two daughters who have shown interest in cheering. Tucker fears that the social media post, along with the squad’s lack of diversity, is a red flag.

“If they meant it as a statement, they should have clarified that. If they meant it as a joke, it’s not funny.”

When speaking about her daughters, Tucker added, “It can open up their eyes to the fact that there’s no representation that looks like them on the cheerleading squad, and maybe they will be the first ones to do it.”

According to the Bay Area news outlet, students shared that the images had been a hot topic on the campus. Students added that the photos caused a divide at the school.

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