Racist Minnesota Prom Proposal Investigated by School District

A school district in Minnesota is investigating reports that a student used a sign with racist language to ask another student to prom.

An image of the male and female students pictures together holding a sign "If I was Black I'd be picking cotton, but I'm white so I'm picking you. Prom?" is being shared on social media.

The image was reported to have been taken in Big Lake. In a statement posted on its website, the Big Lake School District said it was made aware of the proposal and is "taking this report very seriously."

The district added that due to state and federal data privacy laws, it is prohibited from sharing more information about this matter, including the names of the students allegedly involved.

"We will be evaluating it under any and all applicable School District policies and will take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to address the situation," the statement said.

"Big Lake Schools does not condone racism, in any form. Our school has been committed to implementing the Hornet Way, as a way to develop and guide our students' character and actions. The Hornet Way teaches the values of respect, honesty, kindness, responsibility, and fairness. We believe those values extend to all aspects of our school community.

"The School District also is committed to ensuring that all students and staff are treated equally and can attend school and report to work in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Our expectations are high and we expect compliance by all."

The Big Lake School District has been contacted for comment.

This is not the first time that a student has caused outrage by using a sign with almost identical racist phrasing to ask someone to their school prom.

In 2019, a student from Clear Fork, Ohio, posted a photo of himself standing beside a girl with a poster that read: "If I was Black I'd be picking cotton, but I'm white so I'm picking U for prom!"

Clear Fork Valley Local Schools Superintendent Janice Wyckoff later confirmed that the student in question was banned from attending prom.

"This is a teachable moment for this student in particular and for all students. This type of speech regardless of the occasion is inappropriate. It is hurtful to everyone," Wyckoff said.

In 2018, a senior at Riverview High School in Florida also posted a photo of himself holding a sign with the words, "If I were black I'd be picking cotton, but I'm white so I'm picking you 4 prom?"

The school said the student was banned from attending school activities for the rest of that year, including the prom and graduation, over the sign.

(File photo) students arrive at St James' Park, the venue for the school prom on July 1, 2011 in Newcastle, United Kingdom. A Minnesota school district is investigating reports of a student using racist language to ask another student to prom. Bethany Clarke/Getty Images