A student who asked a girl to prom using a racist sign has been banned from attending the school’s event.
The teenager lives in Ohio, US, and was hoping to attend Clear Fork High School’s prom with one of its students, though the boy himself does not attend that particular school.
‘Promposals’ have become common in the US, with youngsters often asking fellow students to the dance in fun and cute ways, using signs, props, and even songs.
But the Ohio student’s approach was a far cry from ‘fun’ or ‘cute’. A photo of him standing with his date-to-be has circulated on social media, showing the girl holding a bouquet of flowers and the boy holding a racist sign.
If I was black I’d be picking cotton but I’m white so I’m picking u for prom.
The student, who has not been identified, has been banned from attending the prom.
This 👇🏾 is why talking to your kids about race should be normal NOT uncomfortable.
Student held racist promposal sign. Now he's banned from the prom – CNN https://t.co/s5MSfnKPje
— Jennifer Reynolds (@LocketsByJen) May 3, 2019
Clear Fork Valley Local Schools Superintendent Janice Wyckoff spoke to CNN affiliate WJW about the situation, saying:
Kids need to understand that when you’re celebrating things it doesn’t give you a pass on using inappropriate racial slurs.
This is a teachable moment for this student in particular and for all students.
This is one person making a bad decision that’s going to reflect on everybody. This is actually a terrible day in Clear Fork Valley.
According to USA Today, Janice explained the original post has since been removed, and the student is remorseful for his actions.
The student’s family declined to make a statement, but the superintendent told CNN he apologised on social media.
He reportedly wrote:
I’m sorry for upsetting anyone, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m really sorry, I will say sorry to anyone.
I didn’t mean to hurt you or anything like that, it was just for a laugh. I’m sorry, I really am. I’ll say it to your face or anything really.
Janice added in a statement:
The student now understands there are consequences for words. I want everyone to remember this is a child and adolescent who made a bad decision and is learning a lesson the hard way.
It’s not clear if the student faces disciplinary action, aside from being banned from the prom.
Janice has said she’ll use the situation as an opportunity to educate her students about race in America.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.