PV High School parking lot

The parking lot at Palos Verdes High School was full on Wednesday, May 15, a day after a photo circulated showing students holding a poster with a racist remark. (Photo by David Rosenfeld)

Palos Verdes High School principal and staff will be meeting with students Wednesday after a “promposal” sparked outrage after a photograph surfaced showing a racial slur highlighted in the message on a poster board.

“Today I will be meeting with all students, class by class,” said Principal Allan Tyner in a statement. “We will review appropriate behavior and how the use of hurtful racial slurs like the one used on this recent picture posted on social media is unacceptable. I know that this one unfortunate event does not represent us as a school community.”

The photograph showed two smiling teens holding a sign, which calls the girl “racist,” that has certain letters highlighted in the request that she go to prom that spell out the N-word.

Palos Verdes High School is scheduled to hold its prom on Saturday.

A mother of a student posted the picture to Twitter Tuesday afternoon, calling on parents to contact the high school’s administration and “condemn this horrific sensibility.”

Several people responded to her tweet, calling the photograph of a smiling boy and girl with the poster board “disgusting” and “terrible.”

Tyner issued a statement Tuesday evening condemning the promposal.

“We were made aware today by some of our students of an invitation that incorporated a slang term for (an) African American and features two of our high school students,” the statement said. “We have been in touch with the identified students and their families to inform them that we are forming a response and anticipate severe consequences.”

Tyner also said the school was investigating to determine who else may have participated in the promposal, including who took the photo.

“Racist words and racist acts have no place in our school community,” Tyner said Wednesday.

Katie O’Daniel, who graduated from PV High two years ago, said she wasn’t shocked by the news. A year or two ago, she said somebody painted a swastika on a Jewish student’s car at the high school.  

“It’s how kids are raised that I think plays into it,” O’Daniel said while picking up her sister, who is a senior, on Wednesday morning.

She said one of the positive things to come out of an incident like this was the response from the school and the community on social media, which largely condemned the racist poster.

“Everything bad that’s happened at this school, people seem to all recognize that it’s wrong," she said. ”So that’s good at least.”

—David Rosenfeld contributed

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