A white Ohio student was barred from attending his high school’s prom after he asked his date to the dance with a racist “promposal” sign that read, "If I was black I'd be picking cotton but I'm white so I'm picking u for prom.”
Photos of the unnamed student at Clear Fork High School holding up the sign with his date were posted to social media, where they quickly went viral.
After the image received large amounts of backlash, Clear Fork Valley Local Schools Superintendent Janice Wyckoff said in a statement obtained by FOX8 that the student “is not attending the prom.”
Wyckoff went on to say, “I want to make it clear that our school district is disappointed in this situation. Our student body should not be defined by a single act of a student who did not think his action through. This is a teachable moment for this student in particular and for all students. This type of speech regardless of the occasion is inappropriate. It is hurtful to everyone.”
Wyckoff also said the student is remorseful for his actions and has been receiving death threats as a result of the sign.
"I'm sorry for upsetting anyone, I didn't mean it like that. I'm really sorry, I will say sorry to anyone," the student wrote on social media, according to CNN. "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."
This incident is not the first time a sign containing this language has been used in a promposal. In April 2018, a Florida high school senior held a sign with the same phrase on it.
"What I thought was, how disappointing — this is in 2019 — we are still dealing with this stuff, with racial slurs," Wyckoff told CNN.
Although some people thought banning the student from prom was too harsh a punishment, most people agreed that this is the only way to teach young people about racism.