Students at a Los Angeles-area high school are facing disciplinary action after a photo that showed them posing with a racist prom proposal sign went viral.
In the photo, a male student and a female student who both attend Palos Verdes High School hold a sign that says, “BiaNca You are racIst but I would Give anything for you to Go with mE to PRom,” according to local ABC affiliate KABC TV.
The invite bolds key capitalized letters that, put together, spell out the N-word.
The photo caused outrage among students, parents and teachers after it was posted to social media.
School principal Allan Tyner told Los Angeles NBC affiliate KNBC that the two teens in the photo and their parents have been contacted.
“We have been in touch with the identified students and their families to inform them that we are forming a response and anticipate severe consequences,” Tyner said in a statement. “In accordance with our values and expectations for respectful conduct in our district and at PVHS, this sign is unacceptable.”
The school is also trying to determine whether other students were present at the time the picture was taken.
On Wednesday, Tyner published an open letter on the high school’s website where he said he planned to meet with all students to discuss the controversy:
We will review appropriate behavior and how the use of hurtful racial slurs like the one used on this recent picture posted on social media is unacceptable. I know that this one unfortunate event does not represent us as a school community.
Racist words and racist acts have no place in our school community.
We will rise above this, learn from this, and be a better school community because of it.
Palos Verdes High School will hold its prom this coming Saturday. The theme is “Wish Upon a Star,” according to the Los Angeles Times.