Six Phoenix high school seniors are facing disciplinary action after a picture surfaced online on Jan. 22 showing the group wearing T-shirts with lettering that spelled out a racial slur.
The young women reportedly had the picture taken after a photo shoot for the graduating class of more than 700 students at Desert Vista High School.
The picture shows the students lined up so their T-shirts spell out the word “N-I-*-*-E-R.”
It is believed the six students were members of a larger group, with all of the shirts spelling out, “BEST*YOU’VE*EVER*SEEN*CLASS*OF*2016,”KTAr reports.
As the picture spread on social media, anger grew.
“I cannot stress enough how upset and absolutely outraged the principal is, the administration is, at Desert Vista,” Jill Hanks, a spokeswoman for Tempe Union High School District, told KJZZ.
“It is absolutely unacceptable,” she added. "It will not be tolerated, and we will issue discipline according to our district policies."
Students and organizations at the school condemned the incident.
“Everyone is angry and ashamed they go to Desert Vista and graduating with them right now,” senior Tatum Brimley said.
“DVTMI does not condone the actions and behaviors of these students today,” the student media group wrote on its Twitter page, according to KTAR. "You can share your positive thoughts and photos with us from today."
Hanks said that beyond disciplinary measures, steps would be taken to educate those involved.
“I can tell you that there’s an obvious need for sensitivity training here, and we will definitely be addressing that,” she told KTAR.