A controversial photo showing two girls wearing white and black face masks with the caption “Happy MLK weekend,” has resulted in discipline towards the girls. Now a police report against the student who made the post for viral.
Rick Wilson, who shared the post, admitted to thinking at first that the photo was innocent until he saw the caption, reported Live 5 News.
"At first when I saw it, I was like it's just a face mask," Wilson told the local news station. "I clicked it and I looked and I saw 'Happy Martin Luther King Weekend,' and I was like well that has to have a hidden meaning behind it."
After seeing the Snapchat post, he shared the photo and caption to Facebook with the comment, “It’s crazy how racism still goes around in 2018. Share and make this viral.”
The photo subsequently went viral and the unidentified girls in the photo received much backlash. Now, the mother of one of the students in the photo has filed a police report for cyberbullying against the student for reposting the Snapchat photo on Facebook.
Attorney Michael DuPree, the attorney representing one of two James Island Charter High School students, issued the following statement Wednesday:
“The original photograph that was posted on social media this past weekend depicted two teenage students in spa facial masks enjoying their long weekend. Subsequently, another student obtained a screenshot of the photo, posted it on Facebook and asserted that the caption ‘Happy MLK Weekend’ was offensive.
“At no point in time did these two students intend for there to be any racial overtones whatsoever. They never intended for it to be interpreted as offensive.
“This is a valuable lesson of how social media can be manipulated and misconstrued.”
James Island Charter High School Administration issued a statement Tuesday stating the photo offended many, intentionally or not:
"James Island Charter High School is aware that a student posted a picture on Snapchat that intentionally or not offended many people. The school has addressed the students involved. It is now a student discipline issue. Parents, we strongly encourage you to monitor and coach your children on how to use social media responsibly. As a school, we have students from many diverse backgrounds which we believe is a strength of our school. The aforementioned image posted on Snapchat does not reflect the values and beliefs of this school community. We will continue to foster an environment that celebrates the acceptance of people from all backgrounds."
Wilson, who is a senior at the high school, told Live 5 News he wants the students to be held accountable for their actions.
"What if they switched the roles?" Wilson asked. "What if it was an African-American boy that this happened to and they were in my position? They would be terminated. They would be expelled. They know that's how it would all happen."
(Photo: Live 5 News)