DATELINE: STUART FLORIDA —The Martin County School District is investigating after a photo showing six middle school students spelling out a racial slur was posted on social media.
Tuesday afternoon, district officials confirmed the photo was authentic. They said it was taken by students at Hidden Oaks Middle School in Palm City.
Each student in the photo is holding a letter spelling out a common racial slur aimed at the Black community. Officials said the students made the letters in an art class.
In an interview with CBS12 News Tuesday morning, a district spokesperson spelled out its zero-tolerance policy for harmful and discriminatory behavior by students.
DeShazo said the students involved could face the highest level of punishment possible under the student code of conduct, a punishment that could extend into next year.
“We don’t tolerate this,” said DeShazo.
The district said the photo came from an annual art project involving 3D letters from the names of students. In this incident, the students rearranged the letters to spell out the racially insensitive word.