After a racist “promposal” went viral Tuesday, a Minnesota school district has decided to go remote for the remainder of week following “a number of threats” toward students.
The prom proposal featured a sign written by a white student that read “If I was Black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking you. Prom?” The sign, which was posted to Facebook Tuesday, caused outrage within the school community and beyond on social media.
Given the attention of the racist viral photo, the Big Lake School District issued a statement, according to KARE 11, that it was “evaluating it under any and all applicable School District policies and will take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to address the situation.” Eventually the district said it addressed the student’s actions, but did not go into detail due to privacy concerns.
Shortly after, the district announced it would move to remote instruction both Thursday and Friday, following what district officials called “a number of threats towards our schools for tomorrow and Friday in response to the ‘promposal’ that occurred on Tuesday, April 27.”
“We have had numerous conversations with local law enforcement and are working quickly to resolve this issue,” the district wrote in a statement. “Student safety is our top priority at all times.”
Local civil rights activist and 2018 Big Lake High School graduate Rayveen Koha-Jallah said that the incident was “a product of the environment that the school produces.”
“Every time there’s a racial issue they try to sweep it under the rug or they try to say this is a learning and teaching moment,” Koha-Jallah said. “They worry about the white children in the picture and their future and they don’t worry about the effects of all the children of color who have to see it, who go to school with them.”
The district said in a statement that it is “committed to ensuring that all students and staff are treated equally and can attend school and report to work in a comfortable and welcoming environment.”