A Florida student was heavily criticized on Twitter for a racially insensitive prom proposal that has now gone viral.
But, perhaps, what’s more terrifying than the distressing post itself is to think that in 2018, incidents like this continue to occur all across the country.
Noah Crowley, 18, apparently sent an image of himself holding a sign to a girl on Snapchat. The sign read, “If I was black, I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking u 4 prom.”
Once the image made its way to Twitter, online users were aghast by just how utterly ignorant the student’s little display was. Many even called the school out for allowing racist students to carry on undisturbed.
@sarasotaschools As an alum of RHS, something needs to be done about Noah Crowley and his racist behavior. It is unacceptable. I proudly wear my class ring every day, but I cannot stand to see this slide.— christina d spillman (@christinadspill) April 23, 2018
Might want to let student #NoahCrowley that his fellow students have made this great achievement, and are not in fact picking cotton. Are these young men going to have to attend prom with attitudes like this? pic.twitter.com/9w8zoEE1Z9— Ciara Murphy (@berzerkobarbie) April 23, 2018
Check out #NoahCrowley’s invite for a #prom date. Last week, Riverview HS, Florida.— Sh Kayen (@ShKayen) April 23, 2018
Thank you @realDonaldTrump (and all silent @GOP) for enabling this #racist piece of dog meat.
You should all remember Dante. #FBR #BlueWave ?????? pic.twitter.com/UUTlAn8YQ6
Riverview High School's acting principal, Kathy Wilks, said that the issue had been noticed and that it had been “racial in nature.” She said that “many” people are “understandably upset with [Crowley’s post] contents.”
Wilks added that the school “absolutely does not condone or support the message conveyed in this post.”
“We are focused on ensuring that Riverview High School provides a safe and secure environment for all of our students and that all students feel welcome and understand the value that they all bring to our school community. Our guidance counselors and administrators are available for any student who wish to speak to someone regarding the issue. Riverview High School has a wonderful student population and we know our school will use this incident as an opportunity to have productive conversations about respect for one another,” she said.
Local activists, such as student Anton Kernohan, said that this incident is just another example of how racism is widespread among people his age.
“I think it is actually important that this issue occurred at some level,” Kernohan said. “It shows that racism is still alive and well in our society, and it shows that racism is still alive in my generation and it is something that we as the youth will have to continue to fight against.”
Unfortunately, even as the internet and Crowley’s fellow students call for punishment, the school district has yet to take any disciplinary action against the teen. NAACP’s Sarasota chapter president, Trevor Harvey, said that a stern response to this incident is in order.
“A strong statement needs to be made to their student body that this type of behavior will not be tolerated on any of our campuses throughout the school district, and, if so, there are going to be severe consequences,” Harvey said. “When we see so many heightened race relations throughout our country, our district has to take a proactive standpoint to make sure that that stuff doesn’t spill off into our schools.”
Public school bodies should not tolerate this kind of behavior, no matter what. Students like Crowley are making it harder for us to heal and to continue to fight the racist policies enforced by politicians in Washington, D.C., especially President Donald Trump. In our local communities, unity and friendship must prevail.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Pexels, Mam Yang