Anger at Racist Homecoming Proposal by Manchester Trinity Student
It's become the homecoming proposal seen 'round the world.
A photo of a teenage boy and girl and the poster displaying the racist dance invite was posted by Black Lives Matter Manchester co-founder Ronelle Tshiela on her Twitter account on Thursday. The post identified one of the teenagers as a student at Trinity High School in Manchester. Trinity is run by the Diocese of Manchester.
The sign reads “If I was black I would be picking [cotton] but I’m white so I’m picking you for hoco?” Actual cotton is glued to the sign in place of the word cotton.
In a statement on Friday afternoon, school president Nathan Stanton said the school took immediate action to gather information and assess appropriate action. He could not discuss specifics because of student privacy concerns.
"We spoke with concerned students and faculty to provide information regarding this incident and the actions taken. I am working closely with the Catholic Schools Office, the THS Advisory Board, and Administrative Team as we continue to respond," Stanton said.
Stanton said the proposal was made off-campus.
"I urge all members of our community to refrain from speculation and promoting disinformation regarding the student, the school’s response, or the details in this matter. Privacy and student confidentiality concerns prevent me from sharing disciplinary actions that were taken, but I assure all of you that this or similar behavior is not tolerated or accepted by any member of our Trinity High School community," Stanton said.
Weekend Athletic Events Canceled
Stanton said that because of threats of violence made against the since the photo went viral, all athletic events scheduled for the weekend have been postponed. The school has worked with Manchester Police about the threats.
WMUR reported that the boy in the photo is a member of the football team. The team was scheduled to host the Green Wave of Dover Friday night.
Tshiela has responded to comments about the photo on her Twitter account, and said that "Black students are concerned for their safety every day when things like this are done" and she is speaking up for those afraid to say anything."
Tshiela told Manchester Ink she was made aware of the photo by her roommate's sister, a Trinity student.
The Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Council, of which Tsheila is a member, issued a statement calling it a "deplorable action", and called on the school and Diocese to take swift action to ensure student safety.
Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Superintendent of Schools Jenn Gillis said in a joint statement that while Trinity is not part of the district, it has a negative impact on students and staff.
"The diversity in Manchester makes our community stronger, more vibrant and welcoming. This kind of behavior has no place in our city, and we stand in support of our Black students and all students of color and their families," Craif and Gillis wrote.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH