SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - School administrators are investigating a "promposal" posted by a high school senior in Sarasota on social media that many found racist and offensive.
An 18-year-old senior from Riverview High School posted the photo of himself holding a homemade sign saying, "If I was black I'd be picking cotton, but I'm white so I'm picking U 4 prom?"
Outrage grew in the responses to the photo. Some people took screenshots of the post and shared it on other platforms, commenting that the student shouldn't be allowed to go to prom at all, and that the post was shameful and unnecessary.
"I was just like, wow," said Erin Williams, 18. "You think this happens in other cities and states and it's just, like, no it's right here in your hometown, the school that you go to, a boy that you know."
Counselors were brought in to talk to students about the post. The district said the 18-year-old could face disciplinary punishment.
Students say the post is a distraction on what should be a highlight of their high school years.
"It does put a damper on things, but I think that it's made us closer as a Class of 2018. It's made us closer. It's made us realize that we don't deserve that, we don't deserve to go through that. Being black or white, it's not acceptable," continued Williams.
The school's principal, Kathy Wilks, issued a statement saying that the school is aware of the post and does not condone its message. "Many who saw the post are understandably upset with its contents, as well as the subsequent commentary to the post."
The post is being investigated and the administration says it is in contact with the student's parents and the school plans to take appropriate action, though the school has not said what that action is.
The school planned to issue another statement to parents Monday night.
The NAACP is asking the Sarasota County School district to consider not allowing the 18-year-old back at any Sarasota County school.
Neither the student's name nor the name of the sign's intended recipient have been released.
An apology that appears to be from the student was posted on Snapchat, saying that it wasn't his intention to offend anyone and that was not how he truly feels. "It was a complete joke and it went too far," he supposedly wrote, saying he can see how he can see how he has offended people. "I'm sorry."