MEAD, Colo. (KDVR) — A few dozen current, and former students led a protest at Mead High School Friday, demanding action after a controversial photo spread Thursday.
That photo, which district officials say was taken on school property, appears to show three students re-enacting the death of George Floyd.
The three students have been suspended for five days, according to a suspension letter obtained by FOX31.
“I think the whole incident that happened is extremely disturbing,” said Simone Underwood. “I think there’s just a lot of students that don’t understand what they’re doing is wrong.”
Underwood is a senior at Mead High School, and one of just a handful of black students at the school.
She said it’s not uncommon to hear racial slurs, and she believes school officials have done a poor job addressing the issue.
“They feel like they can get away with it, and that’s what the administrators are missing, is that they don’t talk about racism enough in our school to be able to handle a situation like that,” she said.
Students held signs and chanted “hold them accountable,” while walking the perimeter of the school property.
At one point, students sat down in the parking lot for eight minutes, symbolizing the amount of time officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.
“The fact that I’ve been out of school for four years, and there’s been no change? It’s disgraceful,” said Amieya Martinez, a Mead graduate who joined in the protest.
Martinez says Mead has a long-standing history of racism inside the school and says the district’s decision to suspend the students for five days feels like a slap on the wrist.
“It’s not surprising to see a photo like that come from Mead high school. It’s more surprising that it hasn’t happened sooner,” she said. “When something like this happens, to only suspend them five days. They need to be expelled.”