I’ve seen some fairly extra homecoming proposals in my day. Like messages on billboards, performances of “Call Me Maybe” in the hallway and various others.
But nothing has or probably ever will top this proposal that an Olathe, Kansas high school student cooked up. I’ll let The Daily Beast explain because YIKES:
As part of the proposal, the boy presented the girl last week with a bigoted banner that read, “If I was Black, I would be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking you” for homecoming. Cotton balls were also plastered to the sign, which had boxes for the girl to check either “yes” or “no.”
In a photo, the two students stand shoulder-to-shoulder, posing close to one another while happily sharing the sign and holding it up in plain view. The image shows the “yes” box has been checked.
So, yeah. Like I said, YIKES.
But wait, there’s more! KSHB 41 News in Kansas City received a statement from Rhonda Windholz, the mother of the female student in the photo.
She alleged that her daughter was a victim in this circumstance and that the real mastermind of all of this was a Black student.
“One Caucasian and one African-American boy were involved. It was the African-American boy who actually made the sign, already marked up and took the picture,” Windholz said. “This by no means makes it right but should shed some light on the situation.
“Caught up in the excitement of being asked to her first ever homecoming, our daughter held the sign that was given to her. It was only after actually comprehending the situation, that she realized what was happening. She blatantly said no!! By then, it was too late.
Windholz added that “we have diversity in our own family and believe that all lives matter, KSHB reports, and that “we have received many death threats and numerous people have told our daughter to kill herself.” She also referred to the proposal sign and the photo as a “misunderstanding” and said that “we sincerely apologize to all who are offended.”
Now, look. If it’s true that a Black student made that sign, then that was wrong of him. It was wrong of the white student to present it to Windholz’s daughter. Sending the family death threats over this is wrong as well.
But YO! Windholz thought that telling the world that her daughter apparently didn’t realize at first glance that the sign was BRAZENLY racist would help this situation, but that’s really an indictment of either an educational failure or that she didn’t really care until she got called out for it.
Regardless, the Olathe chapter of the NAACP has said this incident should be seen as a teachable moment to prevent it from happening again. The Olathe, Kansas school district also responded to the incident by calling for unity and a more inclusive environment for students.
Per FOX 4 News:
In a letter sent Thursday, Olathe Superintendent Dr. Brent Yeager said its Department of Diversity and Engagement is addressing immediate student concerns related to the sign. He said the district is also working to prevent racist behavior in the future.
“I am deeply saddened that this happened in our community. However, this should serve as message to all of us to come together, to create positive change. Creating an inclusive community is incumbent on all of us,” Yeager wrote.
He also said he met with a group of 20 students made up of representatives from each high school in the district this week. Yeager said the students are committed to change, but said they needed support from the community to improve race relations.
“As adults, we should be providing the tools and modeling to help students create a culture where this behavior isn’t acceptable,” Yeager said in the letter.