Teen's racist promposal sparks huge viral backlash

Lauren Tuck
News Editor

A high school student is copping backlash after he used a racist sign to ask his girlfriend to prom.

Noah Crowley, 18, who goes to Riverview High School in Sarasota, held up a sign that read, “If I was black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking U 4 Prom?”

The recipient of the promposal reportedly answered affirmatively with two heart-eye emojis.

Photo: Twitter/TBraelynn

According to Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a photo of the teenager holding up the poster was shared to Snapchat, before screenshots circulated on Twitter, where many are calling it “racist af” and asking for the teenager to be banned from the dance.

The Sarasota County School District said on Monday morning that, “Neither the school district nor Riverview High School condones or supports the message conveyed in the post”.

“This incident remains an on-going investigation and any disciplinary action and recommendation will be made accordingly.”

The statement continued, noting that, “The school district is working with local and national civic leaders, including the NAACP, to develop a roundtable forum to discuss the issue of race — not just at Riverview, but district-wide”.

Parents also received a robocall from the school’s acting principal, Kathy Wilks, informing them of the situation.

“Many who saw the post are understandably upset with its contents as well as the subsequent commentary to the post,” the recorded message said.

“Our guidance counsellors and administrators are available for any students 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.”

As Erin Williams, a student in the district noted, this blatant display of racism is not an isolated incident, writing on Facebook that Riverview has been going through a “race war” for the past couple of weeks. 

The inflammatory image from last year’s version of the cotton-picking promposal theme.

Crowley was apparently unaware of the similar incident that went down in the South Florida region last year.

That’s when two white girls invited their black friend to prom by holding up a cardboard sign reading, “You may be picking cotton, but we’re picking you to go to prom with us.”

The two students were suspended and then released an apology through their parents, calling it an “Unfortunate inside joke that was never meant to be seen on social media”.

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