A Florida high school student who held a ‘racist’ sign asking a girl to prom has been ridiculed on social media.
Noah Crowley from Riverview High School in Sarasota wrote on a large white placard: ‘If I was black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking u 4 prom?’
The 18-year-old’s so called ‘prom-proposal’ was posted to Snapchat by his date along with two heart emojis. The picture sparked outrage and quickly went viral.
Noah Crowley, 18, from Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida, holding the ‘racist’ sign in a picture taken by his prom date and posted to Snapchat
‘We have to do better than this. This is why racism is still a thing,’ one person wrote on Twitter.
‘The fact no one told him this was wrong during the entire process of making it, INCLUDING the girl who said yes is a big issue and this makes me sick,’ said another.
The picture even prompted the boy’s headteacher to write a letter to parents.
Kathy Wilks, acting principal at Riverview, said the ‘very concerning situation’ caused by the post, which ‘was racial in nature’, is being investigated by the school.
Since the boy’s post went viral, an apology believed to be written by him has also emerged.
‘I want to sincerely apologise if I have offended anyone with the picture going around. That was not my intention,’ it read.
‘Anyone who knows me… knows that that’s not how we truly feel. It was a completely joke and it went too far.
‘After reading the texts and Snapchat’s, I truly see how I have offended people and I’m sorry.’
A similar prom-posal received equal outrage in South Florida last year.
Three girls at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek held a sign reading ‘You may be picking cotton, but we’re picking you to go to prom with us’.
Two of the students holding the sign were suspended.
Riverview’s school district said in a statement published by WCNC that the boy’s message is being investigated.
It added that the district ‘is working with local and national civic leaders, including the NAACP, to develop a roundtable forum to discuss the issue of race – not just at Riverview, but district-wide.’
HEADTEACHER’S LETTER IN FULL AFTER PROM-POSAL BACKLASH
‘We want to make everyone aware of a student’s social media post that has caused a very concerning situation.
‘It involves one of our seniors and his ‘promposal’ to another student. It was racial in nature and administration became aware of it last night.
‘Many who saw the post are understandably upset with its contents as well as the subsequent commentary to the post.
‘Riverview High School absolutely does not condone or support the message conveyed in this post.
‘The student’s post is under investigation by administration; the parents of the students involved have been contacted and appropriate action will be taken based on the investigation.
‘We are focused on ensuring that Riverview High School provides a safe and secure environment for all of our students and that all students feel welcome and understand the value that they all bring to our school community.
‘Our guidance counselors and administrators are available for any student who wish to speak to someone regarding the issue.
‘Riverview High School has a wonderful student population and we know our school will use this incident as an opportunity to have productive conversations about respect for one another.
‘We look forward to the start of a new week and know that together, we will demonstrate our pride in the spirit of our school through caring for each other. Thank you.’
Kathy Wilks, acting principal of Riverview High School