Yearbook photo of student wearing Confederate flag shirt while holding a gun in cotton field sparks outrage

A school in Fort Bragg, North Carolina has a lot of explaining to do after a yearbook photo that showed a Cape Fear High School student holding a shotgun while wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt and standing in a cotton field surfaced.

Parents and teachers alike have had strong reactions to the controversial yearbook photo.

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“It disrespects other students and nationalities. Whoever did the yearbook really screwed up on this one,” said Jay Butler, who has a son at the school. “People were beaten, whipped, raped just to pick that cotton. It is offensive because we’re trying to get past that.”

The social media backlash against the photo and the school was swift.

TV station WTVD reported the photo was accepted for inclusion in the yearbook after being submitted by the student’s mother, who told WTVD “she saw nothing wrong with it.”

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The Cumberland County Schools issued an apology statement Wednesday.

“We sincerely regret that a photo of this nature was overlooked,” said a statement from the district. “It does not reflect the values of Cape Fear High School. Our climate is one of inclusiveness. Moving forward, measures will be taken to ensure there is a more thorough review process of the yearbook in place before it is published.”