How could they possibly think this was funny or appropriate?
Two high school students at Palos Verdes High School in Southern California will be punished for a photo of the couple was circulated among students and parents online. One of the students (neither of whom are being named) asked the other out with a sign that read: “[Name] you are racist but I would give anything for you to go with me to prom.” Certain letters in the person’s name and on the rest of the sign were capitalized and written boldly to spell out the N-word. The image shows the two students smiling and laughing as they hold the sign.
NBC News reported that their high school principal, Dr. Allan Tyner, said Wednesday that he would go “class by class” to meet with every student to “review appropriate behavior and how the use of hurtful racial slurs like the one used on this recent picture posted on social media is unacceptable.”
Tyner also sent an email to students and families, writing, “We have been in touch with the identified students and their families to inform them that we are forming a response and anticipate severe consequences.”
“I am heartened by the immediate response by our students and families on social media that make it very clear that our community does not support this behavior,” he added in the email.
NBC reported the principal indicated he would investigate whoever took the photo and anyone else present when it was taken.
On Facebook, the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department (PVEPD) said it had received what appeared to be a threat against the high school because of the students’ photo. The police investigated, and found it was not “a credible threat.”
“Last night there was a prom posting on social media made by a PV High School student that was racist in nature. This prompted other people to post responses on social media,” the PVEPD wrote. “It was reported to the PVEPD that one such response appeared to be a threat towards PVHS. After evaluating the post, talking with the PVHS principal, and evaluating the information available, it did not appear to be a credible threat.”
Police, however, still interviewed the person who made the “threat.”
“After interviewing the person, it was determined that the person making the post was not intending any violence, rather it was meant as a (inappropriate) joke,” they wrote.
The PVEPD ended their post with a warning: “Lesson to be learned: Think before you post!”
The New York Post also reported that this is not the first time this month that a student has been published for a racist prom sign. On May 2, an Ohio high school student asked a girl to prom with a sign that read, “If I was black I’d be picking cotton. But I’m white so I’m picking U for prom.” A photo of the students and the sign was posted on Facebook. The male student was banned from this year’s prom over the sign.
What’s even worse about the Ohio sign is that it wasn’t the first time a boy asked a girl to prom using that same sentence – and that student was also investigated for his behavior.