Articles

Should These Arizona Teens Be Expelled For This Racist Photo?

You’ve probably heard about a group of high school girls in Arizona who dressed in black t-shirts emblazoned with gold letters. Six Desert Vista High students arranged themselves and posed for a photo with their shirts spelling out a racial slur during a “school picture day.” The girls were a part of a photo that spelled out “BEST*YOU’VE*EVER*SEEN*CLASS*OF*2016.”

The photo was originally sent via Snapchat but soon went viral and has caused immediate outrage on all media platforms. Desert Vista High principal Dr. Christine Barela sent a letter out to parents informing them that the girls would be disciplined but did not specify the degree of consequences.

“We want to let you know we share your outrage and disappointment over the actions of a handful of our students today,” she said. “We want to make it crystal clear those actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Desert Vista.”

The school’s superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Baca also released a statement, saying,

“it is unacceptable for any racial slur to be used regardless of intent. We need to understand that words matter.”

However, a petition started on change.org calling for the students to be expelled and for Barela to be fired. It has already accumulated over 45,000 signatures.

Last Friday, local police showed up at the school to keep the calm and also monitor the situation.   All six of the seniors in the photo have reportedly received threats.

So our question to you is,

“Do you believe the girls should be expelled for their actions?”

“Do you believe the school’s prinicipal should be fired if she doesn’t expel the students?”

“Or do you feel that expelling the girls is too harsh of a punishment for the offense?”

The petition on change.org only tabulates signatures calling for the girls’ expulsions. Shrink Tank would like to gather more data about how people would vote given the three options. We will post the results at a later date along with additional thoughts about the situation from our mental health professionals.

[playbuzz-item url=”//www.playbuzz.com/scd23u10/what-consequences-should-these-girls-face-for-their-actions” info=”false” shares=”true” comments=”false” recommend=”false”]

 

About the author

Jonathan Hetterly, LPC

Jonathan Hetterly, LPC

Jonathan Hetterly is a therapist, writer, and pop culture addict. He’s also a contributor to The Shrink Tank podcast. Follow him at @jhetterly and @shrink_tank.

1 Comment

  • I misclicked yes but the answer is no. These are teenage girls. They didn’t mean any harm. They shouldn’t be expelled over something like this. that said they did CAUSE harm and they shouldn’t be exempt from punishment. This is what happens when people are so free from harm they don’t consider the harm of others. It is their constitutional right to be able to take any picture they want and it’s time for them to learn about how there are consequences to their actions because clearly they haven’t been taught about consequences.

    IMO based on what I’ve learned of the case they should be suspected for no less than two weeks to start with. I wouldn’t kick them out of school because kids shouldn’t be kicked out of school unless they’re dangerous. These girls aren’t dangerious. They’re stupid. Ban them from walking at graduation, hold off their graduation until summer school. Throw them in community service for a period of 4-6 months.

Leave a Comment