A photo of students at a California high school using T-shirts to spell a racial slur has gone viral.
News 10 reports that the photo was taken at a senior picnic, where it is tradition to wear shirts with letters on them to spell a word with friends for a photo. Students reportedly say the words are required to be pre-approved, but that students often get together after taking the official photo to spell different words for their own pictures.
Escondido High School graduate, Cade Pannell told News 10, “It hurt me personally. 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.”
Jovan Pete, who graduated in 2017, told the station he’s worried the picture will hurt the schools reputation.
People who haven’t attended the school “don’t know how it is here,” he said. “So they just look at that and assume that’s how it is there. Just racist kids there or just obnoxious kids who don’t know right from wrong.”
He added that his race was never an issue.
“I think it’s a great school. The teaching is great, sports are good, I never had problems here.”
The school released the following statement on Facebook,
Today, during a senior event on campus approximately 10 students made a poor decision to participate in an activity that is not aligned with Escondido High School’s culture, values or history. Principal Dr. Adriana Lepe-Ramirez expressed her deep sadness with this occurrence and stated, “We are a campus that prides itself on inclusion and embraces diversity. We will not tolerate actions that send messages of racism and promote divisiveness. We will work with students, as well as staff, to ensure a respectful and safe environment is maintained throughout our campus. 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. At Escondido High School we will continue to work every day to build a culture of family and unity across our community.” Escondido 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. Parents and guardians of the students involved are being contacted by school administrators, and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken. Teachers, administrators and community members are committed to continuing their efforts to teach and guide students toward making wise, informed choices.
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High School Students Spell Racial Slur In Photo During Senior Picnic was originally published on BlackAmericaWeb.com