News Petition Born After ‘N-Word’ Incident

An Arizona high school student has apologized for posing as part of a crew who wore T-shirts that spelled out “ni**er” last week.

But that isn’t enough for some as a petition has been created in hopes of expelling the students.

The incident, which took place at Desert Vista High School during senior yearbook photo day, sparked massive outcry after an image of six white students posing to spell out the offensive term on their shirts went viral.

Now, organizers of the petition are calling for the girls to be expelled and for the principal, Christine Barela, to resign.

“The six students in question pulled ranks to spell out NI**ER on their own, smiling gleefully to pose for an instagram picture,” the petition states. “Their punishment was 5-days suspension. This hurtful use of a racial slur is a complete disregard for the dignity of the Black community in Arizona and across the nation and the punishment does not fit the total ignorance and cruelty of the crime.”

Rachel Steigerwald offered her apology during a protest that took place Monday.

“I have come here to say that I know people have been offended from what I did, and I’ve come here to say I am incredibly, incredibly sorry,” she told The Arizona Republic. “I have love for everyone in my heart. I am not a racist, and I am asking everyone for forgiveness.”

School administrators and student leaders held a news conference Monday afternoon and emphasized that such conduct was unacceptable. Officials say they had no knowledge of the photo until it surfaced online.