School investigates controversial Spirit Week costumes

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SUFFOLK, Va. — A photo that showed three high school students wearing police uniforms and a fourth student in a prison jumpsuit holding a Black Lives Matter sign has prompted an investigation within the Suffolk City Public School system.

School administrators released the finding of the investigation in a letter to parents later Wednesday afternoon.

The students wore the costumes during a Spirit Week event at Nansemond River High School, WTKR reported. The photo was shared widely and social media, drawing criticism from some who saw it.

According to the school, the girls were dressed as “cops & robber” for Character Day and the Black Lives Matter sign was not part of their costumes. The school said that the students took pictures with the sign to show their personal support for the Black Lives Matter movement.


School district officials said the girls wanted to bring light to the Black Lives Matter Movement and regretted that the images were depicted in a negative way.

“It was really blown out of proportion because it’s Spirit Week and they were supporting the movement and it was really blown out of proportion,” said student Joshua Crocker said, “four cheerleaders came together to support a movement with what’s happening in the world right now and you have people of the African-American race taking offense to the statement.”