California students spell n-word on lettered T-shirts, face discipline

A group of Escondido Union High School students thought it would be a cute prank to spell out the n-word with lettered T-shirts at a senior picnic.

(Photo: Fotolia/smolaw11)

A group of Escondido Union High School students thought it would be a cute prank to spell out the n-word with lettered T-shirts at a senior picnic. Now, they’re facing disciplinary action after the photo was posted to Instagram and reported to school authorities.

According to The Daily Mail, tradition at the Southern California high school in Escondido, Calif., allows seniors to wear shirts with letters on them spelling out pride phrases to take photos with friends. The words must all be pre-approved but students often take unofficial photos that spell different words for their own personal enjoyment.

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Escondido Union High School District spokeswoman Karyl O’Brien said that after the official “photo took place without any incident, one student started pulling individuals together, and started doing inappropriate messages.”

A total of nine students were in the picture spelling out the offensive word. Another image posted online shows four female students spelling out an anti-gay slur. It’s not clear if those students will face disciplinary action as well.

Escondido High School graduate Jovan Pete is worried that 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 also shared with ABC 10 News 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.”

Principal Dr. Adriana Lepe-Ramirez assured students, parents, and alumni in a statement Friday that the school “will not tolerate actions that send messages of racism and promote divisiveness.”

“We are a campus that prides itself on inclusion and embraces diversity,’ the statement read. “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.”

Meanwhile, many across social media have suggested others call the school and demand these students be disciplined severely.

“At Escondido High School we will continue to work every day to build a culture of family and unity across 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.”

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