An 18-year-old student from Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida, sparked a huge debate after asking his girlfriend to the prom in a less ordinary way. The boy sent the girl a photo of himself holding a racist sign via Snapchat on Sunday.
If I was black, I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking u 4 prom,
the sign reads.
The school district confirmed that the photo shows Riverview student Noah Crowley, 18. The boy’s girlfriend replied to the proposal with a couple of heart-eye emojis, which means that she was happy with the request.
The photo was retweeted hundreds of times by Monday morning. One of the re-tweeterers blasted the teen for being clueless about American history. One of them even asked for the teen to be banned from the prom.
The school district reportedly launched an investigation into the issue. School administrators reportedly contacted the boy and his family via a robocall.
Prom Proposal Sparks Instant Backlash
The schools’ principal Kathy Wilks noted on Monday that the administration first learned about the sign on Sunday night. Wilks, who deemed the post “racial in nature,” also said that many people who saw the image were offended by its contents and the girl’s commentary to the photo.
The principal insisted that the boy’s behavior is not condoned by the high school.
Anton Kernohan, who is a senior involved in gun control activities on the school’s grounds, said his friends were “disgusted” with the proposal. Kernohan thinks racism is “still alive and well” in America and should be addressed.
The local NAACP chapter asked the school district to issue an official statement, condemning the boy’s post. NAACP wants other students to learn that such behavior won’t be tolerated in the county’s schools and that it would trigger “severe consequences”.