Two students at a Utah high school were disciplined after posting a photo on Instagram on Martin Luther King Jr Day, which showed one of the teens pretending to be lynched and featured a racist slur in the caption.
In the photo, a blond, Caucasian young woman has a mock noose around her neck, fashioned from what appears to be a ribbon of pizza dough.
Her eyes are closed - and have red X's digitally drawn over them - and her tongue is hanging out of her mouth. A line of text typed across the bottom of the image reads: 'happy national n****r day.'
Vile antics: This white female student at Hurricane High School in Utah, and another girl who shared this image on Instagram on Martin Luther King Jr Day, have been disciplined and fired from their job
Mea culpa: The teenager in the picture on Tuesday issued this apology on social media, before deleting her Twitter account amid backlash
Steven Dunham, a spokesperson for the Washington School District, told KUTV that unspecified actions has been taken against the two students who have shared the racist image on social media this week.
Before deleting her Twitter account and making her Instagram page private, the high schooler in the photo addressed the firestorm sparked by the racist post in a follow-up message on Tuesday.
‘I apologize if that picture offended anyone,’ she wrote. ‘i wasn’t doing it to target anyone or make anyone mad. i was messing around and i should have realized that i was doing. i'm sorry.’
Hurricane High School Principal Jody Rich later uploaded a video on YouTube, calling the students' actions 'thoughtless' and stressing that they 'don’t represent what HHS is all about.'
Rich went on to urge the Hurricane community to refrain from posting anything online that fails his so-called TLC test, which stands for 'True,' 'Lift' and 'Caring.'
The principal also reminded his audience that MLK Day is not about getting a day off from school, but 'rather it is about remembering how far our nation has, come, an how fa we still have to go.'
Officials at Hurricane High School, located in an overwhelmingly white city in Utah, censured the two students for their off-campus antics
He added: ‘if our school is known for anything it is known for being a place where everyone feels loved and accepted.’
Of the 878 students enrolled in Hurricane, more than 87 per cent are white, and only 0.2 per cent are African American, according to the site Niche, which analyzes schools and neighborhoods around the US.
The racial makeup of the high school reflects that of the City of Hurricane - population 15,000 - where more than 84 per cent of the inhabitants are white.
School officials believe the photo at the center of the controversy was taken on Monday at the teens’ place of work and not on campus.
Commenters on Facebook have revealed that the girl depicted in the photo was employed by a local pizza shop. KUTV was told by the eatery that she no longer works there.
DailyMail.com reached out to the pizzeria for comment on Thursday but there was no response.