Middle school students apologize for spelling out racial slur in photo

Palm City, FL. - Six students are apologizing for causing outrage by posing for a photo spelling out a racial slur outside of a Florida middle school.

The photo, which was posted to social media, shows the students standing in line outside of the school holding large, hand-painted letters, arranged so the letters spell out a racial slur.

The students released a letter apologizing to the community and everyone hurt by the photo.

The letter states "we were wrong and we made a big mistake when we spelled out that derogatory word. We clearly didn't understand the full impact of it, and how it hurts so many people. We thought that word is much like other curse words, but it's not like other curse words. We now know there's nothing funny about it. We were not thinking how this terrible word has hurt so many people for so long. We take full responsibility for our actions, and we want to apologize to everyone."

Martin County School District Superintendent John Millay said in a statement the school will follow its code of student conduct in responding to the student's action.

State and federal laws prevent the district from identifying the students or releasing any other specific information about possible punishment.

Officials say the district is providing counseling to any students who need it.

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