‘Are you serious?’: Offensive George Floyd-inspired So Cal prom invite draws outrage

Parents of students at Aliso Niguel High School in predominantly conservative Orange County, California, are outraged after a student posted to social media a prom invite that featured a picture of George Floyd with a caption that read, “If you went to prom with me, it would take my breath away.”

Floyd, of course, died with police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck — a tragic event that sparked violent Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots across many U.S. cities in the summer of 2020.

In an interview with NBC Los Angeles, parents Mike and Angela were shocked when their biracial daughter, a student at Aliso Niguel, showed them the racist post.

“It had a Black Lives fist up on it and a picture of George Floyd and at that point… I was like, ‘Are you serious? They’re making this a joke?'” Mike said, adding that he does not want the student responsible for the post to attend the prom.

“We really just don’t want this kid around our daughter,” he said.

Angela noted that a prom is a needed event after two years of COVID restrictions.

“They’ve already been robbed of two years of high school through COVID, and so the excitement they had — literally the day before — for prom versus the excitement they had last night, or the defeat they had last night, was heartbreaking,” she said.

The parents notified leadership within Aliso Niguel and reached out to some members of the school board and the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD).

“The sign is disgusting, lacks cultural sensitivity, is deeply offensive, and does not reflect the values we strive for in our school district,” CUSD said in a statement condemning the invite. “We serve a diverse community and we value all of our students and families.”

“This is heartbreaking and in instances such as this, we work with school leadership to address the situation,” the district added.

While Angela and Mike say they will accept the decision of the school board in this case, they do want to see justcie served, as their daughter has, the parents say, been the victim of racism on the school’s campus in the past.

“We all make dumb decisions in high school and college, but at the same time, he does need to be taught a lesson,” Mike said.

“It angers me,” said Angela. “I was trying to explain to my daughter, there are certain hills you have to be willing to die on, and her respect and dignity is one of them.”

Online, some Twitter users are using the lone high school student’s offensive invite as an excuse to condemn a county in liberal California that has historically voted Republican.

“[Two] words… Orange County,” wrote one user. “That was all I needed to know.”

“Capistrano Unified?” asked another. “That’s on-brand.”

And from another user came two more words: “Racism abundant.”


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