Desert Vista students suspended for racial slur

Posted at 11:21 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 06:41:38-05

Their shirts sparked a lot of debate over racism in the community and now the details of the punishment for those students at Desert Vista High School have people talking.

According to a source close to one of the girls in the picture, all six teens along with the photographer and the boyfriend the picture was originally meant for are suspended. 

The school principal reportedly pushed for a five day suspension and the school district added another five days. The suspensions take effect ten days from the time the photo was taken so the teens will be allowed back in class by next week. 

No other school privileges have been revoked and no formal apology will be required, according to the source.

Phoenix based talk show “AZ In the Know: We are the community with Real Talk with Louanna” is relaunching in February and plans to feature the Desert Vista story in its first episodes and further the conversation about the ripple effect it’s had. The talk show hosts various community leaders discussing urban community issues. 

"We need to talk about this. We need to talk about social media, we need to talk about negative stereotypes, we need to ban these words, education is the key," said the show’s host Louanna Faine.

She believes the punishment is a mere slap on the wrist and sends the wrong message.

"The girls get the suspension done with and now they're good to go to school, they’re good to walk, go to events, all of that," said Faine, “If we can’t hold these girls accountable how can we expect to hold the rest of the country accountable to not say that?”

She says the only way to move forward now is community education. “AZ In the Know: We are the community with Real Talk with Louanna” will air Saturdays at 6 a.m. On AZTV7, cable channel 13.

The Tempe Union High School District will only say it's following disciplinary policy. The school had previously planned to hold an educational meeting on the topic for parents but postponed it last week. 

A district representative says it has not been rescheduled and potential future plans have not been set.