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Psychologist: Parents should use Phoenix-area racial slur photo incident as a lesson

PHOENIX — After six Desert Vista High School students became infamous once a photo of the group spelling out a racial slur using T-shirts went viral, one Valley expert said parents should use the incident to teach their kids right and wrong.

Teen Psychologist Deanne Davies said those girls might not be able to secure jobs in the future because the picture will always be on the internet.

“I don’t think that teenagers sometimes realize that the consequences are there possible for the rest of their lives,” she said.  “(Those pictures) could affect decisions that they would like to make later on in life about the direction of their life.”

Davies said kids are going to make mistakes like this sometimes, but the parents of those girls should investigate to make sure that they know exactly why the girls did this.

“Why did they think that was ok?” she said. “What’s going on there? I would want to dig a little deeper.”

Davies said parents can use this incident to talk with their teens and younger kids and educate them about the consequences of using offensive words.

“That’s about all you can do is have a conversation up front and warn children about the consequences of their behavior through their teen years,” Davies said.

She said this is also a good time to remind your kids to say no when their peers pressure them to join in doing something that they know is wrong.

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