Florida school district investigating racist 'promposal' sign referencing picking cotton

Frederick Owens
April 25, 2018

A spokeswoman with the Sarasota school district said administrators have spoken to the student and his parents, according to KSAT sister station Click Orlando.

Over the weekend, this post appeared on social media.

"This is a good thing to talk about, because you have to recognize something to change it and then you have to keep it that way", said Erin Williams, a Riverview High School student.

The student posted an apology on Monday afternoon.

"He's never gotten in a fight over race or anything like that at school", said Cody Palmer. Anyone who knows me or [name redacted by 10News] knows that that's not how we truly feel.

'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.

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Senior Erin Williams, who didn't think it was amusing, posted a picture of the student's promposal on Facebook. "It was a completely joke and it went too far", read the post.

That's when two white girls invited their black friend to prom by holding up a cardboard sign reading, "You may be picking cotton, but we're picking you to go to prom with us".

Although the Herald-Tribune asked to speak with Riverview Principal Kathy Wilks, Beeker said she was unavailable for comment. She said that "many" people are "understandably upset with [Crowley's post] contents".

'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. She and other students say they are outraged.

"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".

An NAACP official encouraged school administrators to issue a district-wide response making it clear that the sign was inappropriate.

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