People Are Outraged After A Group Of Teen Girls Posed For A Photo In Shirts Spelling A Racial Slur

The photos caused wide outrage on social media after they began to circulate on Friday.

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A group of teen girls in Arizona have caused mass outrage on social media after they posed for a photo in shirts spelling out a racial slur during a "school picture day."

The photo of the senior girls at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix spelling out "NI**ER" began circulating online on Friday, the Arizona Republic reported.

The girls were wearing the shirts as part of a school picture day, where the more than 700-person class came together for a panoramic photo.

The full collection of shirts spelled out "BEST*YOU'VE*EVER*SEEN*CLASS*OF*2016," according to photos on Instagram.

The controversial photo seems to have been originally posted to Snapchat, according to the newspaper.

Parents alerted ABC 15 to the photo, and Phoenix police officers were soon reportedly dispatched to the school.

Several @phoenixpolice units on campus of Desert Vista HS after racist photo posted online. Latest #abc15 at 4pm

"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."

Barela added that the school will also address "the obvious need for sensitivity training."

The school's superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Baca also released a statement, saying the picture "will not be tolerated."

"It is unacceptable for any racial slur to be used regardless of intent," he said. "We need to understand that words matter."

"The six girls in question need to be expelled from the high school and its district to understand the gravity of their actions to the fullest," the petition states. "These expressions of racism will not be tolerated any longer."

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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