Photo of three white students reenacting George Floyd's murder.
Photo of three white students reenacting George Floyd's murder.

Colorado Principal Resigns After Three White Students Post Photo Reenacting George Floyd’s Murder; One Wore Blackface To Be Floyd

A principal in Colorado has resigned after white students reenacted the murder of George Floyd online. 

Three white students at Mead High School, located in Longmont, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, decided to make light of the killing of George Floyd by posting a picture of themselves acting out Floyd’s horrific and racially motivated murder. One of the students wore blackface to be Floyd. The photo was posted to Snapchat with the caption, “Bye-bye seniors.” 

The photo immediately went viral after fellow students took a screenshot of the photo, gaining extreme backlash. This matter led to students protesting outside the school, calling for the students involved to be expelled. 

Rachael Ayers, the school’s principal, sent out a letter of resignation following the incident. In her letter, Ayers did mention the reason for her leave but did not point out the issue at hand. “I want to thank her for her lengthy service to the Mead High 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,” said Don Haddad, superintendent of St. Vrain Valley Schools.

In another statement, Haddad wrote: “Our district reaffirms its commitment to diversity and equality in our schools and in our operations. There are many important issues facing our society today; however, our highest priority will always be the physical and emotional well-being, respect, and safety of every student, teacher, staff member, and community member in St. Vrain.”

A spokeswoman for the district said the teens were not released but given five days of suspension. But, the incident is growing a lot of attention. Students have staged a walkout protest over the school’s handling of the situation. A petition was created, and the NAACP Boulder County Chapter, Showing Up for Racial Justice Families of Boulder County and YWCA Boulder County, organized a town hall meeting to address the issue. 

“That sense of safety they had comes at the expense of our sense of safety, our comfort, our well-being,” said Alicia Graves, chair for the NAACP Boulder Chapter’s Education Committee, per the Boulder Daily Camera. “The way I approach this is what happened at Mead is a symptom of a system that’s flawed. We need to address the system and what we need to do to fix this issue.”

rachael ayers mead high school

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