Colorado principal resigns after photo of reenactment of George Floyd’s murder
A Colorado high school principal has resigned after a photo of three students at her school reenacting the death of George Floyd was shared online.
The Denver Post reported that Mead High School Principal Rachael Ayers announced her resignation in a letter Monday to St. Vrain Valley School District Superintendent Don Haddad.
In a photo posted online last month, three Mead High School students were seen reenacting Floyd’s murder at the hands of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The student meant to represent Floyd was wearing blackface.
Hadad later called the photo “disturbing and disgusting.”
“We in the St. Vrain Valley Schools strongly condemn, and have no tolerance for, racism in any form and will be addressing this extremely serious matter immediately and accordingly,” she wrote in a letter.
A Twitter user identifying as an alumnus of the school brought attention to the photo and shared a Change.org petition calling on the students to be held accountable and for Ayers to bring attention to the photo.
“I’m truly embarrassed to have graduated from here and these students don’t represent what Mead stands for,” the Twitter user wrote.
This petition is mostly so the principal does something instead of ignoring the situation. I’m truly embarrassed to have graduated from here and these students don’t represent what Mead stands for.
— nessa (@rxateez) May 20, 2021
Local organizations including the NAACP Boulder County Chapter responded to the photo by calling on the school district to address it and systemic racism in schools overall.
A protest was held outside the school by current and former students of Mead High School shortly after the photos went online, KUSA reported.
“As a Black person, it’s not OK to see people taking that as a joke and making it funny because it’s not,” a sophomore at Mead High School told KUSA. “It’s disgusting.”
Other students told the news station that the three in the photo had been disciplined, though a spokesperson for the school district was unable to comment.
Frederick High School Principal Brian Young, who was appointed to replace Ayers, will be hosting community meetings to “discuss advancing student success and achievement with a focus on a safe and inclusive school environment and culture for every student, teacher, staff, and community member.”