A group of high school students from Alabama have sparked outrage after they shared pictures of themselves on social media standing on a black student wearing cowboy boots and flannels.
Students from Moody High School, Alabama, apologised for taking the offensive photograph, which showed six white male students wearing cowboy boots standing on a black student who was face down, with the caption:
We got us one.
After it was posted to Snapchat, the photo quickly went viral, with many people voicing their disgust at the photograph.
The students were dressed up for the day for a themed event, to dress as a destination, with some dressing as if they were from New Orleans, Hollywood, Hawaii and Dallas. The white students in the photograph represent 'Dallas', because of wearing flannels and boots, reports the Daily Mail.
However, issuing a statement, Moody High School principle Christopher Walters was keen to emphasise that the photograph was 'a joke', and that all the people featured in the photograph were friends and consensually involved.
Speaking to AL.com, he said:
We have confirmed that all students involved are friends and participated voluntarily in creating the picture, which they say was intended to be a 'joke'.
The picture is offensive and unacceptable, and it does not reflect the values of our school, our students, or our community.
Jennifer Kellum, one of the student's mothers, told CBS 42:
They really were making fun of racist people.
Ms Kellum's son, Austin Glass, was one of the students photographed with his foot on the other student. In response, he told the local news site:
If I could go back, I wouldn't have took the picture.
I probably wouldn't have even dressed up for that day.
Nick Fuller, the black student who appeared in the seemingly racist photograph, also apologised for the role he played:
I'm thinking about it now, but I didn't think about it when we first took the photos. I'd still like to say sorry again for anyone I offended.
Speaking to Teen Vogue, the school's superintendent Jenny Seals also issued a statement regards the incident:
I understand that all students involved are friends and participated voluntarily in creating the picture, which they say was intended to be a 'joke.
Obviously, there's nothing funny about the picture.
It is offensive and unacceptable, and it does not reflect the values of Moody High School, the St. Clair County School System, or our community.
All students involved will be disciplined appropriately.
We will continue to educate our students on the values of dignity, equality, and decency and on the importance of making good decisions in life.
indy100 has contacted Moody High School for comment.