PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. – A social media photo showing two Southern California high school students laughing while displaying a prom proposal poster containing a racial slur against black people drew a stern reaction from their principal Wednesday.
"Racist words and racist acts have no place in our school community," Palos Verdes High School Principal Allan Tyner said in a statement on the school's website.
The photo shows a teenage boy and girl holding a poster that says she's a racist but he would give anything if she would go to the prom with him. Highlighted letters in the text spell out the slur.
Tyner wrote that he would meet Wednesday with all students, class by class.
"We will review appropriate behavior and how the use of hurtful racial slurs like the one used on this recent picture posted on social media is unacceptable," he said. "I know that this one unfortunate event does not represent us as a school community."
The Los Angeles Times reported that the principal said the teens pictured are from Palos Verdes High and their families have been contacted "to inform them that we are forming a response and anticipate severe consequences."
Tyner did not specify the consequences.
The school was also attempting to find out who took the photo and who else may have been present.
"At this time, I am asking all teachers and parents in our school community to join me in reminding our students that we live in a society that must respect diversity and tolerance. Indeed, this life lesson is critical and is one that school and home must partner to teach," the principal wrote.
He added that the response by other students and families on social media made clear that the community does not support the behavior.
Palos Verdes Estates is among a cluster of upscale communities overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the Palos Verdes Peninsula at the south end of Los Angeles County. Its population of about 13,500 is more than 73% white and less the 1% black.