Students suspended over promposal joke about ‘picking cotton’

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Two high school students have been suspended after a distasteful promposal picture hit the internet.

The picture showed two white students, both of whom attend Monarch High School in Coconut Creek in South Florida, on either side of a black student with a sign that read, “You may be picking cotton, but we’re picking you to go to prom with us.”

The father of the girl pictured on the right in the picture explained that the picture was never meant to be public and that it was the result of an unfortunate “inside joke.” He said that the girl in the middle was homeschooled and was not going to attend prom before her friends asked her to come and that the “picking cotton” reference was a joke between the friends because the girl is heir to her grandmother’s cotton farm.

“They really want to apologize for their extremely poor choice of words in this situation,” said a father of another student. “They would like to take it back. They would like to find a different way to express this invitation to prom.”

While an investigation into the incident is completed, the Monarch students have been suspended.

“Broward County Public Schools is proud of its diverse student population and community,” district spokeswoman Tracy Clark said. “Our district is committed to providing learning environments that foster inclusion and respect.”