An Colorado high school has launched an investigation after a photo showing a group of student reenacting the death of George Floyd surfaced online. The photo surfaced on Snapchat, shows three students reenacting the death on school property, while the student posing as Floyd was wearing black face according to 9News.
“Yesterday, we were made aware of a highly-offensive photo taken on school grounds and posted to social media that did not reflect our school’s high standards of respect, character and inclusivity,” Mead High School principal Rachael Ayers wrote in a letter sent to parents. A parent who contacted Yellow Scene magazine, the incident occurred on Tuesday, May 18th said a friend of her son who attends the school has posted the image on social media.
A white student allegedly put his face by a diesel truck’s exhaust pipe, and scraped the pipe for extra soot before posing for the photo. The student allegedly laid on the ground while another student placed a knee in his neck while a third placed his knee on the student’s back.
The photo was meant to be a reenactment of Floyd’s death almost a year after he died after ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost 10 minutes.
“We take this type of conduct very seriously and have begun an investigation into the matter. If you or your student saw this social media post and would like to process any feelings it may have brought forward, our counseling staff is prepared to provide additional support,” Ayers said in the statement. A spokesperson for St. Vrain Valley Schools says privacy laws prevent information about the investigation being released.
The parent who spoke to Yellow Scene says Mead High School has a a history of racial incidents. “My son said lots of racist things have happened there (said there are lots of “white hicks” that go there)… but that the principal never does anything about it,” she said.
A graduate of the high school agreed that racism is nothing new to the high school. “Four years ago, we were dealing with race in this school, too. Anything like that should not be tolerated by anybody,” she told 9News
Superintendent Don Haddad confirmed in a statement on May 20, that the people in the photo were students, referring to the image as “disturbing and disgusting,” adding that the district has no tolerance for racism and will address the issue “immediately and accordingly.” The students have reportedly been disciplined however, due to privacy laws, the actually disciplinary action has not been revealed.
Last week students protested alleged racism at the school carrying signs and marched.
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