A group of Southern California high school students are in hot water after posting a picture wearing t-shirts with letters that spell out the n-word.
The racist photo was taken at a senior picnic for Escondido High School where it is a tradition for students to wear lettered shirts with school pride phrases to take photos with friends.
Principal Dr Adriana Lepe-Ramirez said in a statement Friday the school ‘will not tolerate actions that send messages of racism and promote divisiveness’.
Now, about 10 students are facing ‘disciplinary action’ after the photo was posted to Instagram and reported.
A group of seniors at Escondido High School posed for an offensive photo spelling out the n-word
Another image posted online shows four female students spelling out an anti-gay word
‘We are a campus that prides itself on inclusion and embraces diversity,’ Principal Lepe-Ramirez’s statement read.
The words students spell are typically approved ahead of time but some students spell their own words once the official senior photo is taken, KGTV reported.
‘After the photo took place without any incident, one student started pulling individuals together, and started doing inappropriate messages,’ Escondido Union High School District spokeswoman Karyl O’Brien said Friday.
Another image posted online shows four female students spelling out an anti-gay word.
It is not clear if those students will face any disciplinary actions.
‘We cannot allow the poor choices of others to take away from who we are and what we represent as a school and as a community,’ Dr Lepe-Ramirez said. ‘It is now, more than ever, that we need to stand united in peace and in love. We cannot and will not allow this incident to define us or divide us.’
Now about 10 students face ‘disciplinary action’ after the photo was reported
Students and alumni expressed their disappointment over the photo.
‘It hurt me personally,’ Escondido High School graduate Cade Pannell said. ‘Whether they thought it was a joke, it’s not. And if you do think it’s a joke, I think that’s very ignorant of you.’
‘We all need to understand the power of our words and actions, and we must take responsibility for the decisions we make each and every day,’ Lepe-Ramirez said.
‘At Escondido High School we will continue to work every day to build a culture of family and unity across our community.’
The students’ parents or guardians have been notified of their child’s involvement.
The high school, along with the district office, has been working alongside the Escondido Police Department and others to conduct a thorough review of this incident.
‘We have a long rich history on this campus, one that represents the heart and pride of our community,’ Lepe-Ramirez said. ‘We will continue to learn and grow from this incident and I believe that we will come out stronger in the end.’
The principal said they ‘will not tolerate actions that send messages of racism’