A Colorado high school principal has resigned less than a month after the school received national attention for a social media video shared by students that appeared to re-enact the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
St. Vrain Valley School District Superintendent Don Haddad sent a letter Monday, June 7, informing Mead High School families of principal Rachael Ayers’ resignation. According to the Bounder Daily Camera, which broke the story, Haddad thanked Ayers for her 12 years of work at the school — which included work as a teacher, assistant principal and principal — but would not comment on whether her resignation is directly related to the social media controversy.
The offending image showed three white students, one in blackface, acting out Floyd’s death in jest, and was initially discovered on Snapchat. One white student allegedly put his face by a diesel truck’s exhaust pipe, using soot from the pipe to cover his face, before lying on the ground, while another student placed a knee in his neck, and a third placed his knee on the student’s back.
According to a parent who contacted Yellow Scene magazine, the incident took place on Tuesday, May 18.
“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,” the former Mead High School principal initially responded in a letter sent to parents.
“We take this type of conduct very seriously and have begun an investigation into the matter,” she continued. “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.”
Frederick High School principal Brian Young will take over as Mead High’s principal. One of Young’s first acts as new principal will be hosting Mead student and community meetings to “discuss advancing student success and achievement with a focus on a safe and inclusive school environment and culture for every student, teacher, staff, and community member,” Haddad wrote.
The NAACP Boulder County Chapter and other local organizations are pushing for further action and “have asked the district to take several steps to address the Mead incident and systemic racism in schools.”
The students involved in the image have allegedly been identified and disciplined, however, due to privacy laws, the nature of the disciplinary action has not been revealed.
Link to original Atlanta Black Star