SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) – A Sarasota student and his family are apologizing after the teenager’s “promposal” that went viral and sparked outrage online.
On Monday, Riverview High School in Sarasota confirmed they were investigating the viral “promposal” after many people voiced concerns about it being racist.
The photo in question was posted to Snapchat and shows a Riverview High School senior, 18-year-old Noah Crowley, holding a sign that reads, “If I was black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking u 4 Prom?”
The district says it was notified of the photo on Sunday night. They sent out a message to students and parents on Monday morning.
The teen apologized on social media on Sunday, saying the photo does not reflect how he truly feels.
“I want to sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone with the picture going around. That was not my intention,” he said. “It was a complete joke and it went too far. After reading the texts and Snapchat’s I truly see how I have offended people and I’m sorry.”
The teen’s family also released a statement on Tuesday through their lawyer, apologizing for their son’s actions.
“While our son has apologized himself, on behalf of our family, we wish to also express our most sincere apologies for the terrible words used in his ‘promposal,'” the statement says. “We love our son dearly and know that he is a far better person than reflected in this reckless behavior. That said, as loving parents, we also feel compelled to share our own deep regret and serious concern about his actions.”
The family says they have also agreed that the teen will not attend any future school functions or activities, including prom and graduation.
“As a family, we truly recognize this incident is a very difficult but important life lesson and pledge to do all we can to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again,” the family statement says. “Certainly, we hope that all of the people and communities who were hurt and offended will forgive our son and family.”
Riverview has made guidance counselors and administrators available for students who want to talk about the post. They are also working with local and national civic leaders, including the NAACP, to develop a roundtable forum to discuss the issue of race.
The school district has not announced whether the student will face any disciplinary action.