It never fails. Every year, high school students gather for class photos. And every year, at some high school, somewhere, some conglomeration of assholes lines up to do something stupid, offensive and racist.
This time it’s at Escondido High School in Southern California, where students were given T-shirts with letters on them to spell out approved words for their class photos last Friday.
You know where this is going.
According to ABC 10 News, a group of nine students thought it would be hilarious to take their own separate set of photos where they lined up to spell slurs—according to their social media accounts, where (you guessed it) the photo were promptly shared, the students spelled out “faggot” and “nigger.”
Escondido Union High School District confirmed that the photos posted online were real, posting a statement on Facebook (h/t Huffington Post) calling the photos a “poor decision” that “is not aligned with Escondido High School’s culture, values or history.”
Current students and alumni were not amused about the photos.
“It hurt me personally,” Escondido High School graduate Cade Pannell told ABC 10. “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.”
In the statement, Escondido Principal Adriana Lepe-Ramirez emphasized that the high school “prides itself on inclusion and embraces diversity.” Racial minorities make up 82 percent of the student body at Escondido High, according to U.S. News and World Report. School officials say “appropriate disciplinary actions” will be taken against the students, though it’s unclear at this point what those actions will be.
Of course, unless there’s actual consequences for the students’ actions, all that embracing of diversity is just lip-service.
According to the Huffington Post, the Escondido Police Department says the high school received an anonymous “threat of violence” during the school’s Friday football game they believe was tied to photos. The game wasn’t cancelled, and the event concluded without incident.