Black mannequin was dragged by rope at Nevada high school football game

A school district is investigating after the incident was captured on video during a halftime homecoming parade Friday evening in Reno.

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By Minyvonne Burke

A Nevada school district said it is investigating an incident at a high school homecoming football game after video and a photo showed a student using a rope to drag a black mannequin on the ground during a halftime parade.

The incident happened Friday evening during a game between Damonte Ranch and McQueen, two high schools in Reno.

In a video taken by a photographer for NBC affiliate KRNV, a Damonte Ranch student is seen dressed as a cowboy riding the school's mascot, a mustang, while he uses a rope to drag a black mannequin on the ground behind him.

Washoe County School District interim superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill said she was made aware of the incident Friday night and immediately launched an investigation and "fact-finding effort."

"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," a statement on the district's website reads.

According to the school's incident report, students built a float for the parade and incorporated McQueen's mascot, a Lancer knight. Originally, class advisers approved a plan for students to purchase a blowup cowboy and horse and then lasso a student who would dress up as the knight.

The plan later changed, and it was decided that a student would dress up as the cowboy and a blowup doll mannequin would be dressed up as the knight. The class advisers were unaware of the changes, according to the report.

The report states that students tried to buy a gray mannequin online but couldn't find one, so they purchased a black one. According to the Reno Gazette Journal, McQueen's school colors are gray and blue.

The mannequin was lassoed around the waist and was supposed to be standing on the float during the parade, but it wouldn't stay up and "that's why it ended up being dragged behind the student," according to the report.

The report states that the float was intended to "demonstrate a traditional, friendly rivalry" and was never meant to be offensive.

"I cannot begin to express how incredibly sorry we are that this took place during the Homecoming Float Parade," the report stated. "We would never intentionally try to offend any culture as we represent diverse cultures in our Damonte Ranch High School and community."

The district said it plans to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. "This may in fact entail — in addition to apologies — a schoolwide redoubling of efforts around civil rights, equity, and diversity training," the district said.