A Riverview High school student in Florida is under investigation after posting a racist prom proposal, according to the Herald Tribune.
The photo was created by 18-year-old Noah Crowley, who posted the photo to Snapchat.
The sign read: “If I was black, I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking u 4 prom.”
The photo quickly made it’s way to Twitter where several users bashed Crowley for being racially insensitive.
Might want to let student #NoahCrowley that his fellow students have made this great achievement, and are not in fact picking cotton. Are these young men going to have to attend prom with attitudes like this? pic.twitter.com/9w8zoEE1Z9
— Ciara Murphy (@berzerkobarbie) April 23, 2018
@sarasotaschools As an alum of RHS, something needs to be done about Noah Crowley and his racist behavior. It is unacceptable. I proudly wear my class ring every day, but I cannot stand to see this slide.
— christina d spillman (@christinadspill) April 23, 2018
This student is Noah Crowley and goes to Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida. Twitter, do your thing and bring this asshole down pic.twitter.com/uwLFV0XeaH
— maddy viera (@viera_maddy) April 23, 2018
Riverview acting principal Kathy Wilks said: ″ [The post] 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.”
Wilks continued: “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.”
Students at the High School are taking the issue seriously. Anton Kernohan, a student activist, said the sign brings attention to the long lasting problem of racism in his generation.
“But I think it is actually important that this issue occurred at some level,” Kernohan said. “It shows that racism is still alive and well in our society, and it shows that racism is still alive in my generation and it is something that we as the youth will have to continue to fight against.”
President of the Sarasota chapter of the NAACP, Trevor Harvey, said he is hoping for a district-wide response.
“A strong statement needs to be made to their student body that this type of behavior will not be tolerated on any of our campuses throughout the school district, and, if so, there are going to be severe consequences,” Harvey said. “When we see so many heightened race relations throughout our country, our district has to take a proactive standpoint to make sure that that stuff doesn’t spill off into our schools.”
On Monday the school district released a statement saying that they condemn the sign: “Although this message is one student’s opinion, we take the matter of racial relations and school safety seriously, and we look forward to working with our students and these outside groups have a meaningful and informative dialogue and expanded curriculum related to this important national topic.”
Crowley released this statement: “I want to sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone with the picture going around. That was not my intention. Anyone who knows me or ***** [name redacted] 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.”
The school is scheduled to have prom on May 5th.