In this day and age, racially insensitive language, sentiments and or behavior are met with a great deal of contention in everyday life, and particularly on the internet. Social justice activism has truly found its niche on the web, a place where millions and millions of like-minded people work together to condemn what they perceive as unacceptable behavior towards minorities.
However, in spite of this, instances of racial insensitivity still occur. In fact, the Sarasota County School District has now confirmed that they are investigating a racially offensive promposal that was posted on Snapchat. According to a spokesperson for the district, a senior at Riverview High Scool uploaded a photo of his promposal that which many students have taken offense to.
Learn more about the enraging promposal here, and the extreme action people are calling for:
The photo features the 18-year-old student holding a poster with the words “If I was Black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking U 4 Prom?” The investigation is still ongoing and so the district has still not decided whether or not the student will be banned from prom.
Sarasota County Schools has released the following statement regarding the incident:
“On Sunday night, the Sarasota County School District was made aware of a social media post from a Riverview High School student that has caused a concerning situation. It involves a senior who made a “promposal” to another student that was racial in nature.
Many who saw the post, and subsequent apology, are understandably upset with its contents and commentary. Neither the school district nor Riverview High School condones or supports the message conveyed in the post. This incident remains an on-going investigation and any disciplinary action and recommendation will be made accordingly.
This morning, a message was sent to parents and students about the incident. In addition, counselors were made available at Riverview to any individual or group wanting to talk about the issue of race and the contents of the social media post.
Likewise, the school 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.
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.”
The student, who many news outlets have chosen not to identify, posted an apology to social media. The following message was sent to parents and students on Monday morning:
“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. It was a complete 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.”
It does appear that in this particular instance, it was a case of a joke perhaps going too far. But it does go to show that people should be careful what they put on social media if it could potentially lead to a backlash.