A controversial picture posted of a Spirit Day outfit at a Virginia high school on Oct. 23 has led to debate and outrage.
At Mountain View High School in Stafford, Virginia, two cheerleaders wore shirts with lyrics from a popular Drake song to celebrate their upcoming graduation, Fox 5 News reports. The play on words written on the back of the shirts reads, "N-----, we made it." Instead of spelling the word, the teenagers substituted the number "16" for "IG."
The shirts have caused an uproar on social media, and the staff was notified about the incident on Oct. 29, reports Fox 5 News
Some students believe that the girls were not trying to be offensive.
“Me personally, I wasn't offended,” Mountain View student Kamyah Ahn told Fox 5 News. “To me, it's just song lyrics and a lot of people were thinking of those quotes for the senior shirts. But I guess they are the ones who actually put it on.”
One mother said the slur reminded her of when her child had to endure racially insensitive incidents from her classmates, according to NBC News.
"They probably don't think anything was wrong with it," mother Annette Lee told NBC Washington. "However, it is."
Others believe that this incident demonstrates a deeper, more problematic issue.
"While Drake is popular, and I’m a fan, the T-shirt, and certainly the reaction to it, reveals that the mainstream use of the word from some of the most popular personalities in the world, has impacted the broader feelings about it in culture," Shaun King, a civil rights activists with Black Lives Matter, wrote for NY Daily News.
James Stemple, principal of Mountain View High School, said he plans to educate the student body about the inappropriateness of such behavior, NBC reports. The students involved in the incident has also reportedly been disciplined.
"I am truly sorry that this incident occurred at Mountain View," Stemple said in a statement. "There are plans in place to educate the entire student body about this type of behavior, provide counseling if needed for any student and to work with the entire community to ensure this type of action does not happen again.”