A Colorado principal resigned after three male students reenacted the murder of George Floyd and posted their actions to social media. According to The Washington Post, the photo shows two students from Mead High School in Longmont kneeling on the neck and back of another student who laid on the ground in blackface. The caption of the photo reads, “Bye bye seniors [sic],” with a hand-waving emoji.
Classmates took screenshots of the Snapchat post and called for officials to take action, some demanding the students be expelled.
“I don’t think those people who did that should be able to come back to this school, because they’ve put such a bad image on our school,” Ana Carrillo, a rising junior at the school who organized a Change.org petition in light of the incident, and the school’s reported culture of racism.
Kara Bee, one of the school’s only Black students, told KCNC last month that she was shocked seeing the image. “That was murder they’re making fun of,” she said. “As one of the only Black people here, I think it’s important to speak up about these issues and not just kick them under the rug.” According to reports, the students, who were not publicly identified, were suspended for five days.
St. Vrain Valley School Superintendent Don Haddad wrote a letter to families announcing the school’s principal, Rachel Ayers, had resigned less than a month after the Snapchat image came out.
“I want to thank her for her lengthy service to the Mead High School community for the past 12 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal, and I wish Mrs. Ayers the very best in her future endeavors,” Haddad wrote.
The local chapter of the NAACP has joined in efforts to address the incident, specifically how the students felt comfortable “reenacting one of the most graphic and gruesome murders we’ve seen,” the chapter’s education committee chair Alicia Graves told the Boulder Daily Camera.
A new principal, Brian Young, has been appointed to lead Mead High School and will, according to Haddad, “focus on a safe and inclusive school environment and culture for every student, teacher, staff, and community member.”