A Colorado high school principal has resigned after a photo surfaced on social media showing three students reenacting the murder of George Floyd.
In a letter to parents that noted “significant challenges” during the school year, St. Vrain Valley Schools Superintendent Don Haddad announced Monday that Mead High School Principal Rachael Ayers had stepped down after 12 years working for the school as a teacher, assistant principal and then principal.
It’s unclear if her resignation is connected with the incident. Ayers did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
An image posted on Snapchat last month showed a person, in blackface, on the ground with one person holding his arms and another person with a knee on his neck.
Floyd, a Black man, was handcuffed and pinned facedown on the pavement under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer for 9½ minutes on May 25, 2020. He called out for his mother and repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd’s murder galvanized an international movement against police brutality and fueled calls for an end to racial injustice.
Haddad addressed the Snapchat image in a statement.
“Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that a disturbing and disgusting social media post depicting the re-enactment of the murder of George Floyd was made by a group of students from Mead High School,” the May 20 statement said. “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.”
The day after Haddad’s statement was issued, about 45 students marched across the Longmont, Colorado, high school and sat in silence in honor of George Floyd, NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver 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,” Kara Bee, a sophomore at Mead High school, said at the protest. “It’s disgusting.”