Three White students of Mead High School in Colorado have come under fire after a photo of them reenacting the May 25 death of George Floyd was shared on social media. One of the students also wore blackface to depict the deceased African-American father.
This recent incident comes a year after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of Floyd for over nine minutes despite repeatedly telling him he couldn’t breathe.
According to 9NEWS, the photo in question shows one of the teenage students kneeling on the neck of another student who is wearing blackface. After the photo was shared on social media, a group of current and former students staged a protest at the school on Friday and called on authorities to take disciplinary action against the three White teens.
“As a Black person, it’s not okay to see people taking that as a joke and making it funny because it’s not,” Kara Bee, a student at the school, said. “It’s disgusting.”
Responding to the incident in a letter, St. Vrain Valley Schools superintendent Don Haddad condemned the actions of the White students and labeled the image as “disturbing and disgusting.”
“We in the St. Vrain Valley Schools strongly condemn, and have no tolerance for, racism in any form and will be addressing this extremely serious matter immediately and accordingly,” Haddad added.
Though the students in the photo have reportedly been disciplined, the protesters told 9NEWS more needs to be done to address racism in the school. “I think it’s important to speak up about these issues and not just sweep them under the rug,” Bee said.
“They need to expel the kids that did this,” a student said.
Another student also added: “Four years ago, we were dealing with race in this school, too. Anything like that should not be tolerated by anybody.”
During the protests at the school, the students at a point observed eight minutes of silence to commemorate the death of George Floyd. The 46-year-old’s death last year sparked nationwide protests in what was a summer of racial reckoning.