A high school football player in Virginia and potentially more students are facing an investigation by a local school district after circulating offensive images following a win over a rival high school, according to The New York Times.
One of the images reportedly features the logo of Cave Spring High School, which the player attends, photoshopped onto the head of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin as he kneels on George Floyd’s neck. The logo of Hidden Valley is placed on Floyd's face.
A Roanoke County Public Schools spokesman declined to describe the other offensive posts to the Times, but noted they were “not related to George Floyd, but equally as deplorable.”
Roanoke superintendent Ken Nicely denounced the images to The Roanoke Times, calling them "abhorrent" and "disturbing." The posts were made following Cave Spring's 17-14 win over Hidden Valley, the school's first win in the matchup in 10 years.
From the Roanoke Times:
The photos “do not reflect the values of Cave Spring High School or Roanoke County Public Schools,” Nicely said in a statement. “We strive to provide positive, welcoming communities that value respect for all students and families. Educating all students about respect and creating positive, inclusive learning environments is at the center of our Positive Behavior Interventions and Support program which we are in the final stages of rolling out in all of our schools. Education is a process, but we will hold individuals accountable for their actions.”
The district reportedly learned of the posts Saturday evening, after multiple parents and members of the community reported the issue. The spokesman said privacy laws will keep the students' identities undisclosed, but pledged to take "appropriate action."
Per the Roanoke Times, Roanoke County Public Schools is a majority-white school division. Approximately 80% of Cave Spring and 76% of Hidden Valley’s students are white, while Black students make up 5.8% of the student body at the two schools.
School loses final game due to George Floyd post
While consequences for the students may be pending, the Cave Spring team is already facing one repercussion for the post.
Cave Spring was reportedly scheduled to face Floyd County High School for a "plus-one" game, in which Virginia high school teams who miss the playoffs may play an extra game to finish their season. Floyd County has since reportedly pulled out in light of the situation.
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