Los Angeles Unified school district buses, Dec. 15, 2015.
Photo by Paul Buck/EPA

Phoenix students photographed spelling racial slur with t-shirts

Several students at a Phoenix high school could face disciplinary action after a photo posted on social media shows the students spelling out a racial slur on their T-shirts.

The photo surfaced on social media showing six students from Desert Vista High School using letters printed on their shirt for a senior class yearbook photo to spell out a racial slur on Friday.

Tempe Union High School District spokeswoman Jill Hanks told the Associated Press that the students were wearing the shirts to spell out “BEST*YOU’VE*EVER*SEEN*CLASS*OF*2016.” However, at some point the girls in the photo went off on their own and spelled out the slur.

Kenneth Baca, superintendent for the Tempe Union High School District, called the photo disappointing in a letter to parents.

“We are appalled and disappointed at this behavior and it will not be tolerated. It is unacceptable for any racial slur to be used regardless of intent,” he said.

Desert Vista Principal Dr. Christina Barela said the students involved in the incident will face disciplinary action.

“We can assure you we will discipline these students in accordance with district policy and our student handbook. While we don’t discuss individual discipline, we can tell you that in addition, the obvious need for sensitivity training will be addressed,” Baca said in a statement.

The school’s Black Student Union tweeted out a photo following the controversy saying that the incident does not reflect the beliefs of the student body.

Phoenix area civil rights activist Rev. Jarrett Maupin plans to host a rally Monday afternoon at the school with Desert Vista students, parents and the community in response to the photo.

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.

Phoenix students photographed spelling racial slur with t-shirts