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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Two South Florida high school students have been suspended after a distasteful sign they were holding in a prom proposal picture was placed on the internet.

The father of one of the students holding the sign says it was an unfortunate inside joke that was never meant to be seen on social media.

Through their parents, all the girls have apologized.

Yahoo! featured the sign in an article titled “Here’s how not to ask your black friend to prom.”

The picture shows three students, two of which are from Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, holding a sign that reads “You may be picking cotton, but we’re picking you to go to prom with us.”

According to Yahoo!, the picture was made public via a tweet from Jon Aro, a former student at the school. Aro grabbed a screenshot of the photo from a friend’s Instagram page.

The father of the girl on the right of the picture told Local 10 that it was an inside joke made to the girl in the middle who was originally not going to prom. The father says the girl in the middle, a friend of the other two who is homeschooled, is the heir to her grandmother’s cotton farm in Alabama.

Broward County Public Schools says they are working with the administration at Monarch High School and the students and their families regarding this matter.

“Broward County Public Schools is proud of its diverse student population and community,” said Tracy Clark, Chief Public Information Officer with the school system. “Our District is committed to providing learning environments that foster inclusion and respect.” 

The girls who attend Monarch were inviting the other to their prom with their boyfriends. Those girls have been suspended until the investigation into the incident is completed.

The father told Local 10 he understands the controversy over the sign and why it would be seem by some to be racist. However, he said there was never a malicious intent and now the girls are afraid to attend the prom.

Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.

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