PHOENIX --For the first time, one of the six Arizona teens in the middle of a photo controversy is speaking to the media.
The six high school students from Desert Vista High School in Phoenix were seen in a photo that stirred allegations of racism and hate. The photo showed them wearing T-shirts with letters on them, spelling "N-I-*-*-E-R."
The photo went viral across the nation.
Superintendent of Tempe Union High School District says the actions of the teens won't be tolerated.
"We will not tolerate, anyone promoting any type of hate or using any type of racial slur," the superintendent said.
One of the six teens in the photo apologized.
"I have come here to say that, I know people have been offended from what I did. And I have come here to say that I am incredibly, incredibly sorry. I have love for everyone in my heart," the teen said. "I am not a racist and I'm asking everyone for forgiveness to me."
The school district says the photo was intended to be shared with the boyfriend of one of the students, who is African-American.
Students at the school have called on themselves to spark a change on campus.
"As the president of the black student union, we are going to start a campaign to end the n-word. This is our call to action," a student said.
The district superintendent said the six students have been suspended for more than five days.