According to Boulder Daily Camera, principal Rachael Ayers has resigned from Mead High School in Mead, Colorado. Ayers was in the hot seat after several students reenacted the murder of George Floyd while in blackface with the caption “Bye-bye seniors.”
Ayers’ resignation was announced on June 7.
The photo was taken in the Mead High School parking lot and featured a white student in blackface lying on the pavement face down. Another white student is kneeling on their neck while another appears to hold their arm. Several students protested after the picture reenacting the George Floyd murder was posted online back in May. The protesters said that they wanted to highlight racism within the school.
“As long as we tolerate racist behavior we all might as well be the students in the photo,” read one protester’s sign.
Ayers had been with the school for 12 years. Superintendent Don Haddad made the announcement and called the pictures “disturbing and disgusting.” He would not say if Ayers resigned due to the racist reenactment of Floyd’s tragic death but thanked her and wished her well. She is being replaced by Principal Brian Young from Frederick High School.
Before her resignation, Ayers said that the pictures were not reflective of the school’s high standards for character, inclusivity or respect and that they were investigating the incident.
“We take this type of conduct very seriously and have begun an investigation into the matter,” she said. “If you or your student saw this social media post and would like to process any feelings it may have brought forward, our counseling staff is prepared to provide additional support.”
— Audre P⃤🏳️🌈 (@nobodysbbdoll) May 20, 2021
Haddad said that the school would not tolerate racism and reaffirmed the school district’s commitment to equality and diversity.
One Mead High School student, Ana Carrillo, posted a petition on change.org challenging the community to grow and create change. The petition also calls for the students in the video to be held accountable for their disgusting and racist behavior.
The Boulder Colorado NAACP has asked the St. Vrain Valley School District to take steps addressing the online photo and attend to the systemic racism in the district’s schools.