Tuscaloosa County School System decries high school ‘promposal’ referencing Black people, cotton picking

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The head of the Tuscaloosa County School System and the principal of Tuscaloosa County High School condemned a photo of a “promposal” circulating on social media referencing Black people and cotton picking, saying the racially insensitive gesture “will not be tolerated” and “does not reflect the beliefs and values” of the school.

The photo features a poster that reads “If I was Black I’d be picking cotton but I’m white so I’m picking U 4 prom.”

In a joint letter issued Saturday to parents, Tuscaloosa County Schools Superintendent Keri Johnson and Tuscaloosa County High School Principal Darrell Williams said they could not discuss any disciplinary action taken against the student who made the poster but told parents to “be assured this behavior carrier serious consequences.”

“Several of you have reached out to me today about a social media post involving our school. The post shows a photo of a ‘promposal’ at our school. In the photo, there is a poster, decorated with a statement that references cotton picking and African Americans,” the statement read.

“I want you to know there is absolutely no room for racially-motivated language at Tuscaloosa County High School and in the Tuscaloosa County School System. It will not be tolerated. Our Student Code of Conduct sets the expectation that students will show respect for others. The Beliefs of the Tuscaloosa County School System state that diversity is respected and included. While I cannot discuss disciplinary action involving a specific student, be assured that this behavior carries serious consequences,” the message continued.

“It is important to our administration that our students feel safe, valued, and included at Tuscaloosa County High School and in the Tuscaloosa County School System. We work to make this a reality every day at TCHS, and we’re always striving to do better. What is reflected in the photo circulating on social media does not reflect the beliefs and values of TCHS,” Johnson and Williams went on to say.

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