Racist prom proposal leads to outrage at Burlington Central

  • A racist invitation to Burlington Central High School's prom does "not reflect Central 301's values or our standards of appropriate and acceptable student conduct," Superintendent Todd E. Stirn said.

      A racist invitation to Burlington Central High School's prom does "not reflect Central 301's values or our standards of appropriate and acceptable student conduct," Superintendent Todd E. Stirn said. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
ABC 7 Chicago
Updated 4/18/2022 11:53 PM

Each year high school students find creative ways to ask someone to prom. But a recent "promposal" involving Central High School students in Burlington wasn't creative at all. Some students are calling it racist.

A photo of the promposal that's being shared on social media shows two teens holding a sign that reads, "If I was Black, I'd be picking cotton, but I'm white, so I'm picking you. Prom?"

 

"I think the student should face some type of repercussion, whether it is suspending or expelling them, for sure not letting them go to prom," said senior Kayla Haynes.

Haynes said some students see it as a joke.

"I was not surprised but I was disappointed more of just seeing the kids I grew up with, seeing a different side of them," she said.

School and district officials are aware of this incident.

"The derogatory, racist remarks in the post do not reflect Central 301's values or our standards of appropriate and acceptable student conduct," said Superintendent Todd E. Stirn in a statement.

"Actions that go against our values of inclusion and respect have no place in our schools or our school-sponsored activities."

Only 2% of students at Central High School are Black, according to the Illinois Report Card. The school is 62% white, 19% Hispanic and 13% Asian.

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Sophomore Ashli Bonds said racism has been an ongoing issue at the school that needs to be addressed.

"There's too many situations that happened where kids think that it is OK now and they know that they will get away with it," she said.

School officials said they can't discuss any disciplinary action being taken against the student who organized the promposal.

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