DU professor, activist says Mead HS photo controversy is ‘sad’ but not surprising

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — A photo that appears to show Mead High School students re-enacting the murder of George Floyd is ‘disheartening’ but not surprising, according to University of Denver Professor Apryl Alexander.

Alexander helped lead critical conversations around racial stress, trauma and violence following the death of Floyd last summer. She says the photo that is now circulating on social media highlights the need for change and education around racial issues and topics.

“A lot of people still think it’s people in hoods or it’s racial slurs. But it’s the other things in our day to day functioning as well,” said Alexander. “It’s wearing ‘black face’ whether it’s during this time or Cinco de Mayo or Halloween. And that our youth are still struggling with how to identify racism. What’s humor and what is not?”

She says the community needs to question where these students learned this type of behavior, and what the best solution is to hold them accountable.

“I don’t want accountability just for the students — I want accountability for the whole system. Can we have some better trainings of the faculty and administrators at the school? Can we institute critical race theory or race and ethnic students in our school systems?,” said Alexander.

Alexander says moments like the situation in Mead are still regular occurrences, despite the social movements that have occurred over the last year.

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