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Riverview High racial tensions addressed in meeting with students, administrators and NAACP

"We put them in an environment to be as open and frank as they needed to be and they were."
Credit: Twitter
A teen who is said to be a Sarasota high school student holds a poster many are calling a blatantly racist "promposal." It reads: "If I was black I'd be picking cotton, but I'm white so I'm picking u 4 prom?"

SARASOTA, Fla. - A "promposal" many described as racist and other racial slurs written in school bathrooms prompted a meeting between Riverview High School students, administrators and civic leaders on Monday.

MORE: Sarasota teen's 'cotton-picking' promposal outrages social media

“We put them in an environment to be as open and frank as they needed to be and they were,” said Trevor Harvey, president of the NAACP Sarasota chapter.

Harvey led the discussion set by 15 students.

“This is round one of many to come," he said.

Jewelle Scott a Riverview senior, hoped one thing in particular was discussed during the meeting.

“I hope people can be more open-minded and judge me by the content of my character and not the color of my skin,” said Scott.

MORE: Sarasota students react to teen's viral 'cotton-picking' promposal

Scott was uncomfortable going to school after the promposal went viral.

Harvey said the new principal promised that the school's racial tension will end.

“The principal assured students these issues they felt going on at this school will be addressed," he said. "She as an open-door policy that’s what we wanted to hear. Students don’t feel they can say what they want to say and get away with it that’s what we mean by accountability. The faculty will be held accountable as well. When students are bringing these issues to them they need to feel they’re being heard their issue will be addressed.”

MORE: Family of Sarasota teen who issued 'cotton-picking' promposal issues apology

Scott hopes underclassmen won’t have to deal with this again.

“I hope another racist promposal won’t have to happen again so people learn the lesson from it,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Sarasota County School District said they will use information from today's meeting to continue the discussion at other schools. The goal is to develop a program created with student input on racism and other social issues.

A date for the next roundtable discussion has not been set.

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