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Escondido students pictured here on social media wearing t-shirts spelling out a racial slur. Photo via Instagram
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Police: Threat against Escondido High School connected to racial slur picture

ESCONDIDO — A threat of violence at an Escondido High School football game is believed to be connected to an image of students at the school wearing T-shirts spelling out a racial slur that surfaced on social media, an officer said yesterday.

On Thursday, an Instagram photo surfaced showing a group of nine students at a senior photo event with lettered T-shirts spelling the n-word.

Escondido High traditionally lets students wear lettered shirts to spell out pre-approved words with their friends for a senior photo, but nothing stops students from spelling out different words after the official photo is taken.

The next day, someone posted on social media threatening non-specific violence against today’s football game at Escondido High School against Rancho Buena Vista High School, set for 7 p.m.

Officers became aware of the threat a little before noon today, Escondido police Lt. Chris Lick said. Police didn’t release the nature of the threat or on what social media platform it was posted.

“As an extra precaution, the Escondido Police Department will have additional officers at the football game,” Lick said.

Escondido High’s principal released a statement this morning condemning the students’ use of the slur.

“We cannot allow the poor choices of others to take away from who we are and what we represent as a school and as a community,” Principal Dr. Adriana Lepe-Ramirez said in a statement. “It is now, more than ever, that we need to stand united in peace and in love. We cannot and will not allow this incident to define us or divide us.”

Police and Escondido Union High School District officials were working closely to determine the validity and origin of the threat, Lick said.