The sign created by Noah Crowley, 18, of Sarasota, read “If I was black, I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking u 4 prom,” the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota reported.
Crowley’s fellow students at Riverview High School found a photograph of the sign on the female student’s Snapchat. The girl put two heart-eye emojis in her caption for her Snapchat post.
Students responded on social media, saying they were “disgusted” by the sign.
“Come on Noah. We have to do better than this,” one person tweeted. “This is why racism is still a thing, ‘let me see what I can get away with.’”
Another student tweeted the image and said, “He seems to not know about America’s history. Racism is a problem. Definitely should not be allowed to go to the prom!!”
Riverview senior Anton Kernohan said while the sign was racist, it revealed an important point.
“I think it is actually important that this issue occurred on some level,” Kernohan told the Herald-Tribune. “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.”
Sarasota County Schools released a statement Monday saying it did not “condone” the sign, the Herald-Tribune reported.
“Although this message is one student’s opinion, we take the matter of racial relations and school safety seriously, and we look forward to working with our students and these outside groups to have a meaningful and informative dialogue and expanded curriculum related to this important national topic,” the statement said.
District officials said they are reviewing whether any disciplinary action will be taken against the student, the Herald-Tribune reported.