A Colorado high school principal resigned on Monday almost a month after a Snapchat photo showed three college students re-enacting George Floyd’s murder.
St. Vrain Valley Schools Superintendent Don Haddad said in a letter to parents obtained by USA TODAY that Mead High School principal Rachael Ayers had resigned after holding several positions at the school over the past 12 years. years.
Haddad acknowledged that the school “experienced significant challenges” last year, but did not mention the incident regarding the photo. St. Vrain Valley schools did not say whether Ayers’ resignation was linked to the Snapchat photo.
Rachael Ayers has made the decision to resign as principal of Mead High School. I want to thank her for her long service to the Mead High community over the past 12 years as a teacher, vice-principal and director, and I wish Ms. Ayers the best in her future endeavors, ”Haddad said in the letter.
Haddad announced that new principal Brian Young will host community meetings “to discuss student success and achievement with a focus on a safe and inclusive school environment and culture for every student, teacher, staff and member of the school. the community “.
The photo, obtained by the Boulder Daily Camera, shows a black-faced student on the floor with a student’s knee on his neck and another kneeling beside them. The photo is captioned “Bye Bye senoirs (sic).”
Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis after Constable Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes. Handcuffed, Floyd called for help and repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin was convicted of second and third degree murder and second degree manslaughter on April 20.
Floyd’s murder sparked an international movement calling for an end to police brutality and social injustice. Haddad said on May 20 that he was made aware of the “disturbing and disgusting” photo re-enacting Floyd’s murder.
“We in the St. Vrain Valley Schools strongly condemn and have no tolerance for racism in any form and we will address this extremely serious issue immediately and accordingly. Our District reaffirms its commitment to support diversity and equality in our schools and in our operations, ”Haddad said.
A day after Haddad’s letter, around 45 students demonstrated outside Mead High School against the photo. A group of students told NBC KUSA Denver that the students in the photo were disciplined, but the district said they couldn’t comment on the discipline due to privacy laws.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.