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A High Schooler From Florida Had A Really Messed Up, Racist Promposal Sign & It Points To A Larger Problem

A Riverview High School senior from Sarasota, FL is facing lash back after posting a picture of his racist Snapchat promposal over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The student is currently being investigated by the Sarasota County School District in response to his racist post.

The Snapchat post in question showed the student holding a poster that says, “If I was black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking U 4 prom.” District officials rightfully called the post racist and said that action will be taken to educate students on race relations.

The district released their official statement on Monday: “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 to have a meaningful and informative dialogue and expanded curriculum related to this important national topic.”

As officials continue their investigation on Crowley and his post, they are holding themselves to the school discussions on race. The district has reached out to various community leaders on race relations, including experts from Sarasota’s chapter of the NAACP.

Trevor Harvey, the president of Sarasota’s chapter of NAACP, said that the district has been proactive in providing counselors and other professionals to the student body. Harvey added that although these actions reflect well on the district, the overall message may be getting muffled.

“I don’t want the main point to be lost: The district [must] make the student body aware that they will not accept this kind of behavior,” said Harvey. “We can have all the conversations we want, but if there is no action, then we are not really doing anything productive.”

According to students from Riverview High School, the issue does not start with Crowley. One student at the school detailed the racial issues that the school has reportedly faced for weeks in a Facebook post, writing: “They’re letting these kids walk freely around expressing racism.” She added that part of the problem has been suspending victims of this racism due to ignorance by the staff and administration of the school.

Though the administration counters that those allegations aren’t true. District spokeswoman Tracy Beeker said, “this doesn’t happen every day,” and claimed that the district is always willing to listen to the concerns of their students. With community and school-wide conversations, the district’s goal is to take a step towards more acceptance and understanding of racial issues.

Crowley is still waiting for the district’s actionable response to his racist promposal and has issued an apology: “I want to sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone with the picture going around. That was not my intention. Anyone who knows me… knows that that’s not how we truly feel,” he said, according to WTSP 10 News.

Arielle Kimbarovsky is a writer, artist, and recent Broadway fan studying advertising at Boston University. When she's not writing an article, you can find Arielle drinking too much coffee or taking on casual projects like sending cameras into space.