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Racially-charged controversy at Salinas High rattles community – Monterey Herald

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SALINAS — The Salinas Union High School District is investigating “disturbing images and videos” circulating on a social media account created by Salinas High School students that have started a racially charged controversy, bringing a torrent of responses on social media.

The Instagram page called “shaniqua.shs,” created by Salinas High students, featured images of a Black baby doll named “Shaniqua.” While the account has since been deactivated, screenshots and screen recordings of the page’s original content have been posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok since news of the account became public on Saturday.

At the time screenshots were taken, the account had more than 70 followers and 37 posts picturing Salinas High students posing with the doll. Other videos and pictures of the doll have since surfaced on social media, including a video where two students are seen stomping on the doll. In another screenshot, an Instagram post is captioned with a misspelled version of a racial slur.

“On Saturday, August 21st, Salinas High School administration became aware of disturbing images and videos circulating on social media,” read a district statement issued Sunday. “The administration promptly initiated a full investigation which will include identifying those who were directly involved.

“The SUHSD does not condone this type of behavior and although the District has taken steps to support our African American students and staff, this recent incident demonstrates how much more support is needed. We urge families to also take time to talk with their students about the damaging effects of racist behavior. Counseling is available at all of our school sites for any students who may need support.

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“Racism and racial injustice are in direct opposition to the District’s values. Our District will continue our efforts to show that racism and racial injustice have no place in our schools. We are committed to maintaining a safe, positive school environment where all students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members are treated with respect and dignity.”

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Awareness of the account became widespread following Salinas High’s football jamboree on Friday, where students said the doll was passed around. One Salinas High School senior took two photos of the doll being swung from the neck by a purple bandana in the stands.

“This isn’t the first time that racism has happened at Salinas High,” said the senior, who has asked to remain anonymous. “… There were people drawing very racist, stereotypical drawings on it like face tattoos, an ankle monitor and painting the lips to make it look bigger.”

District Lead Campus Security Officer Jason Butorac, who attended the scrimmage on Friday, said he saw the doll in the Salinas High end zone, where a video and photos feature the doll sitting on a goal post, and “let” students place the doll on the post but was unaware of the Instagram account.

Butorac emphasized that the entire situation was wrong and reiterated the district administration will deal with the incident “swiftly and professionally.”

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When asked for further comment on Monday, the district said it will be releasing statements to the public for updates and that there is nothing to report beyond the statements that have already been issued.

Events of the last weekend come ahead of the district’s regular school board meeting Tuesday, which several students have reported they will be attending to voice their concerns and demand action.

Calls for a response have also spread online, including a change.org petition created Sunday that now has more than 6,500 signatures.

“Schools are supposed to be a safe place for students to learn academically and respect should be taught,” said the petition. “Students cannot learn in a safe environment if they’re surrounded by people who will spread hate towards them because of their skin color. Now more than ever is the time to step up for change.”

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Likewise, parents and members of the community lamented the situation on social media, frustrated with the actions of students and the impact they have left on the Salinas community as a whole.

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“Racism has no place in our schools and community,” Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo said on Twitter. Alejo’s district includes most of Salinas. “What occurred in one of our schools was outright hurtful and we must take action to address it and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“These acts remind us why we must better educate our students to be better citizens of our community and understand that racism must not be tolerated anywhere. Salinas is and must always be better than this!”

Christopher Valdez, who graduated from Salinas High School in 1998, said he was ashamed to call himself a Salinas High School alumni in a post on Facebook. Later in an interview, Valdez went on to express his disappointment.

“As someone who has pride in the school, it was heartbreaking to see that,” he said. “… If this is swept under the rug again it will be more than heartbreaking.”

Valdez believes that now more than ever is the time to learn and make change.

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“I think this is the perfect opportunity for administration, teachers, parents and student body leaders to stand up for what’s right,” he said. “I think there really needs to be total change from the ground up for how everything is done and how things are taught.

“We’re kind of at the moment where they can do something and make change for tolerance.”

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …

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Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a pic.twitter.com/2chGZP9hr4

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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