6 Lessons We Need to Teach our Children in Response to the Desert Vista Racist Senior Photo

I’ve wanted to ignore the fact that this photo really took place just on the other side of the beautiful city that I live in. Yes, this picture makes me angry. I don’t know these girls at all and I’ve read that they are nice people, but I am embarrassed at their blatant privilege and disrespect. Their racial prank affects all of us.

I get that kids make mistakes. I know that I most certainly did and am glad I was fortunate enough to not have social media haunting my every move. But, I can guarantee I would’ve never posed for a picture like this.

If my child ever thought it was ok to wrap their arms around five other individuals and smile for a camera while displaying a racial slur, they would be in for a rude awakening. My parenting would be in question as it should be. We parents are responsible for raising kids of character.


6 Things We Need to Teach Our Children

1. Lead not Follow

Teach your kids to be an example to their peers and to be confident in saying no to things that are hurtful to others. Out of 7 girls, the posers and the photographer, none of them questioned that what they were doing was wrong? Not one of them had the courage to say this isn’t right and I’m out. They couldn’t have taken this photo without one of them. Too bad someone didn’t speak up.

2. You are a reflection of me

My kids, my husband and I all share the same last name. Not to mention the slew of cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents who do as well. What we do individually affects us as a whole. I preach to my kids that their actions are a reflection of our entire family.

The reverse rings true as well. How I represent myself in this world affects them too. These girls not only humiliated themselves, but they’ve brought negativity to their entire school and community. Their arrogant choice has affected many.

3. Snapchat can ruin you

We don’t allow our kids to have Snapchat even though it’s the social media platform of choice for their age group. What’s the point in using an App where your images magically disappear after 10 seconds? If you’re confident in what you’re posting, put it out there on Instagram or Facebook for all the world to see and judge. Would these girls have posted this shot on Instagram for all to see?

Those of you who have kids on Snapchat, you need to make sure they understand that their photos can be one screenshot away from devastation. This picture of an awful decision is viral proof. Remember kids brains are not fully formed until their early 20’s. Our kids will do some stupid things for sure, so make sure you are helping them along the way to understand the consequences of their choices on social media.

4. Racial slurs are no laughing matter

I question what type of person would even think of lining up their girlfriends to spell out a derogatory racial word like this? What makes a person feel entitled to insult another race and laugh as you do it? Do we really need to spell out for our kids that this is unacceptable? Perhaps we do. Show this photo to your children and discuss the utter wrongness of it.

5. Have Empathy

Our kids need to think of others at all times. What may seem funny to you, may be very hurtful to another. Words matter. You can create pain or you can spread joy and peace through your words and actions. Make the right choice by being sensitive and understanding of others. Look at life through another’s eyes. If your actions may create pain, then simply don’t do it.

6. There are consequences to choices

I feel for the leaders at Desert Vista High School. They’ve been put in a tough spot. As this picture happened on their campus they are responsible to do something about it. Who knew they needed to worry about a large group of seniors spelling out “BEST*YOU’VE*EVER* SEEN*CLASS*OF*2016″ for a photo? Suspensions and public humiliation are underway and rightfully so.

We can only hope this controversy creates positive conversations in homes so that this will never happen again.

5 replies
  1. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    I will be showing Cole this photo and the points you made ….. I think you are totally correct in what you said. It’s too sad that these kids thought this was an okay thing to do, are they really that clueless? I would like to think that not a lot of thought went into their actions, but obviously they spent some time in putting this together and they look pretty pleased with themselves!

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Yes I showed mine the photo and they said that kids were talking about it at school. Perhaps we take for granted that kids know right from wrong without actually talking through things. I’m sure that these girls honestly weren’t thinking maliciously when doing this. They just weren’t thinking at all and that’s the problem. They were too comfortable in their little world. No matter how old we are, we need to think about our actions and be held accountable for them!

  2. Linda Bandler
    Linda Bandler says:

    You are absolutely right on, Amy. The effects of living a sheltered life are very apparent here. How could anyone ever think this would be funny?


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *