A photo showing two white teenagers mockingly reenacting the graphic death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose murder by police officers was captured on video footage, has caused a social media stir in the Oak Park and River Forest High School community — even though it was created by students in Minnesota.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, District 200 Supt. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams said administrators were made aware of the racist photo last night.
“We learned that the image was being rapidly and wrongly attributed to one of our students,” Pruitt-Adams said. “Our investigation has determined that the image originated with students from Legacy Christian Academy in Andover, Minn., which has issued a statement on its website.”
In a statement posted to its website, Andover officials said they were “extremely disheartened to learn that two students associated with Legacy personally posted an image on social media that was extremely offensive, inexcusable, and disrespectful to the memory, and family, of George Floyd.”
The school’s website describes Andover as a “PreK through 12th grade school that promotes academic excellence in a Christ-centered biblical worldview.”
In the statement, Andover officials said that “While none are perfect, there is a standard we hold our students to, both in and out of the classroom, that supports the sanctity of life and the respect of all people. This standard was not met today and we are dealing privately with the students and their families.”
Pruitt-Adams said that, although there were no OPRF students in the photo, “we do know that very racist and insensitive comments were made from within our community. We cannot share details of individual cases, but please know that we address any instances of racial insensitivity as we learn about them in an appropriate and restorative way that is consistent with our values and beliefs as a school.
“Let us state unequivocally: Racist language, images, and postings are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” she added. “In addition, sharing graphic, racist images — regardless of intent — is deeply hurtful and triggering. Consider the impact before you post, or repost, even with the best intentions of highlighting hatred.”