A group of students took photos during a high school event spelling out various homophobic and racist slurs.
The students at a California school wore t-shirts with a single letter on them during the Escondido High School senior picnic and in a series of pictures, they rearranged themselves to spell out a number of abusive words.
In one photo, the students lined up to spell the N-word and in another the spelt the word “f**s” and each image was posted on social media accounts.
According to ABC 10 News, it is part of the school’s tradition to wear shirts with letters and all the words must be pre-approved by the school. However, students often gather to spell their own words.
Now Cade Pannell, a graduate of the school, said the photos “hurt me personally”, and told the news station: “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.”
Another student said the images could hurt the school’s reputation and added: “I think it’s a great school.
“The teaching is great, sports are good. I never had problems here.”
Dr Lepe-Ramirez also added: “I understand that the messages that were posted on social media incited anger and frustration, but I want to encourage you all to remember that the only thing that combats hate is love, the only thing that combats divisiveness is unity.
“We cannot allow the poor choices of others to take away from who we are and what we represent as a school and as a community.
“It is now, more than ever, that we need to stand united in peace and in love. We cannot and will not allow this incident to define us or divide us.
“It is our diversity that makes us better and our understand of one another that brings us together.”