Bianca D’Alfonso and Nick Zwygart have been widely identified as the Palos Verdes High School students who shared their racist promposal on social media.
In the sign created by Zwygart used to ask D’Alfonso the Los Angeles County public school prom, letters spelling out ni**ers were highlighted and bolded so the word would be clearly visible.
The PVHS principal said the racism depicted is isolated and not representative of the school. And said the n-word was “slang” for African-Americans.
D’Alfonso and Zwygart have since shuttered or set to private most of their previously public social media accounts. Heavy was able to screenshot numerous images before accounts were shut down.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. ‘BiaNca You Are RacIst But I Would Give Anything for You to Go With ME to PRom’
The sign reads, “BiaNca you are racIst but I would Give anything for you to Go with mE to pRom.” The letters spelling out ni**ers were highlighted and bolded so the word would be visible.
Posted by the students to Insatgram, the post was removed but not before it was seen and shared. An African-American female resident of Palos Verdes shared the image, and her disgust.
“This is beyond disgusting. It was brought to my attention 2 PV High School students were involved, participated, and made an extremely racist prom proposal poster. I’m disgusted how these kids laughing in the picture about a term that was rooted from a time where my ancestors were beaten, abused, had no rights, and were slaves. Racist terms should never be used lightly and in any manner like this. I am here today reading, going to school, free because my ancestors fought for me, strangers I will never know, fought for me. It is 2019 why do I still have to see things like this in society? It honestly breaks my heart. My ancestors fought for me and now as an African-American women ima continue that fight for the next generation. This is unacceptable. @pvhs_seakings what are u going to do about this cause I don’t want to see this in my community a town I live in. #pvhigh #explorepage #explore”
2. A Mom Posted the IG Image to Twitter Asking People to Call the School to ‘Condemn This Horrific Sensibility’
“This appeared on my daughter’s Instagram. These two stupid kids go to her high school. I ask all of you to call Palos Verdes High School 90274 and condemn this horrific sensibility. #racism #ignorance#”
Carol Lin is a former national journalist, public information officer for the LA County sheriff and current senior advisor to LA County chief executive officer. Lin states her opinions are her own on her Twitter profile. She points out that, in her opinion, the PVHS is more focused as a matter of daily routine on student’s making the grade rather than teaching kids about social history, racism and the consequences hate speech.
“More complicated than another story/a wealthy community. Culture here not racist. It’s isolationist. PVHS values address zero tol. but daily values focus on achievements, GPA,SAT,ACT,AP. Values should address history, consequence|hate speech. None taught.”
Not everyone agreed.
Though she was thanked by commenters who almost exclusively condemned the student’s actions, but added that racism is learned, likely at home.
“Thank you @CarolLinLA for taking action and making the public and nation aware of this irresponsible and very unacceptable behaviors by these teens. We must all come together in order to be together.”
3. The School Principal Called it ‘One Unfortunate Event’ & Said the N-Word Was ‘Slang’ For African-Americans
“May 15, 2019
Dear Parents and Community Members,
Today I will be meeting with all students, class by class. We will review appropriate behavior and how the use of hurtful racial slurs like the one used on this recent picture posted on social media is unacceptable. I know that this one unfortunate event does not represent us as a school community.
Racist words and racist acts have no place in our school community.
We will rise above this, learn from this, and be a better school community because of it.
Dr. Allan Tyner
Palos Verdes High School”
Lin tweeted that the school was aware “thanks to students and parents speaking up …” She said, “thankfully Principal is taking action,” adding that there are “many good PV people and families” as evidenced by replies to her post which “show an enlightened public.”
“This is disgusting. I think it would be appropriate to round all these little ****S up and take them on a proper sociological tour of the city. We will start in Skid Row. Problem is that this behavior is learned. Who are the parents?…I was a teenager & didn’t do racist BS. You know why? Because my parents taught me that it was wrong. 1st time I heard the N word my dad explained the evil of it.”
The LA Times reported that Tyner wrote in a statement, the promposal “…incorporated a slang term for African-Americans …”
4. Zwygart and D’Alfonso Aren’t the First Couple to Share a Racist Promposal on Social. But the PVHS ‘Wish Upon a Star’ Prom Goes on & What, if Any, Consequences They Face is Unknown.
Last spring, a Sarasota, Florida high school senior made a racist promposal sign that was shared by his girlfriend and intended prom date on her social media with added heart-eyed emojis. Noah Crowley and Isabella Vanilli, both then students at Riverview High School, who were reported to have frequently used racist terminology and statements that they define as jokes said at the time the promposal was a “joke.”
“If I Was Black, I’d Be Picking Cotton, But I’m White, So I’m Picking U 4 Prom,” is what the sign read.
“That was not my intention. Anyone who knows me or ____ knows that that’s not how we truly feel. It was a complete joke and it went too far. After reading the texts and Snapchats I truly see how I have offended people and I’m sorry.”
But people that say they know the couple claim this is a pattern of behavior.
There are myriad other racist promposal that have made the news, and as has been pointed out, likely many more that did not go viral or gain media attention.
Meanwhile, the ‘Wish Upon a Star’ prom is set for Saturday May 18.
It’s not clear what, if any, consequences Zwygart and D’Alfonso face though Tyler told the Times school officials “anticipate severe consequences.”
5. The Couple Shuttered Their Social Media Accounts But Not Before Screenshots Were Taken
Before trying to scrub their social footprint, screenshots of Zwygart and D’Alfonso were taken by Heavy and a number of others.
Zwygart made his Instagram private.
But an IG fan page for him was created, by whom is unclear, perhaps Zwygart himself, and recent photos of him appear on the page.