DENVER (AP) — Leaders in a northern Colorado school district are condemning a social media post in which three high school students — one in blackface — reenacted the death of George Floyd.
The photo, which appeared to be originally posted to Snapchat, showed a student in blackface lying on the ground as one teen kneels on his neck and another kneels on his back, The Denver Post reported Thursday. A caption above the photo reads, “Bye bye senoirs (sic).”
Mead High School Principal Rachael Ayers sent a letter to students and their families Wednesday saying the “highly offensive photo” was taken on school grounds and that the administration has begun an investigation.
“I know that this behavior does not represent our strong Maverick community, and I want to acknowledge the supportive school culture our students, faculty and staff have cultivated through a challenging time,” she wrote.
St. Vrain Valley School District Superintendent Don Haddad on Thursday called the photo “disgusting and disturbing,” adding that the district about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Denver has no tolerance for racism and is committed to diversity and equality.
He welcomed students to contact the school counseling office if they need additional support.
It’s unclear when the photo was taken, and the students were not identified. The photo surfaced almost exactly a year after then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd.
Floyd, 46, died May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck as the Black man repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin was convicted last month of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing.
Floyd’s death and the protests that followed prompted a wave of police reforms in dozens of states, from changes in use-of-force policies to greater accountability for officers.