BELLVILLE, Ohio – A Richland County student will not be attending prom after his school district deemed a sign used during his promposal used racist language.
“To be frank with you I thought, ‘Oh my goodness; this is awful,'” said Janice Wyckoff, the superintendent at Clear Fork Valley Local Schools.
A picture Wyckoff said the student shared on social media states, “If I was black I’d be picking cotton but I’m white so I’m picking u for prom.”
FOX 8 is not identifying the student in the picture. The student is seen holding the sign with his intended prom date. Wyckoff stated she was not clear if he is a junior or senior. The girl pictured is not a student in the district.
The promposal occurred off school property, according to the superintendent.
“Kids need to understand, when you’re celebrating things it doesn’t give you a pass on using inappropriate racial slurs,” said Wyckoff.
Wyckoff said the district of about 1,700 students is disappointed in the situation; however, the student body as a whole should not be defined by the actions of one student. She added the student is remorseful, has deleted the social media post and learned the power of his words.
“This is a process, growing up is a process, and this is one of those moments that’s a teachable moment for this kid that will last a lifetime,” said Wyckoff.
“I don’t believe that this is any group think on the part of the student body,” she continued. “This is one person making a bad decision that’s going to reflect on everybody. This is actually a terrible day in the Clear Fork Valley.”
Wyckoff did not comment about if any further disciplinary action is planned.