Some Pascagoula High School seniors and their parents are enraged this week after receiving the senior class T-shirts that featured the cold and dismissive phrase, “Bye, Felicia,” along with the names of three seniors who died this year.
The controversy began when parents and students started receiving the T-shirts on Thursday.
By Friday morning, parents and students had taken to Facebook to express their outrage over the use of the phrase on a senior class T-shirt that also memorializes deceased seniors Blayze M. Broadus, Jonathan McCommon and Matthew Russell Parker. Broadus and McCommon died in a car accident.
“I’m just crushed by this,” Blayze’s grandmother and caregiver, Vicki Broadus, said Friday. “What else could they do? What other pain does a parent have to go through? You just begin to stop crying every day and then some idiot comes up with something like this. I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. This is just disgraceful.”
The phrase “Bye, Felicia,” was first used by the rapper Ice Cube in the 1999 film, “Friday,” and is meant as a cold and dismissive way to bid someone farewell.
Members of the Pascagoula High School administration and other staff along with a few seniors designed the shirts.
By mid-morning Friday, Pascagoula School Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich and the school district decided to ban students from wearing the shirts on school property or at any school functions.
Rodolfich made the decision after he got wind of the T-shirts from the assistant superintendent and Pascagoula High School Principal Caterria Payton.
“The names on the back of the shirts, I believe, were well-intentioned,” Rodolfich said Friday. “I think that was a way to honor those students but when you look at the front of the shirt and the back of the shirt, it was not appropriate.”
When the senior T-shirts were first approved, Rodolfich said, they did not include the memorial to the students.
“It was added outside of the protocol of the school district,” Rodolfich said. “The school district is going to let the students get new senior shirts that are in good taste. The school district is going to pay for it.”