PARKER, Colo. — A prom picture showing a group of teenagers posing with guns and the Confederate flag is now grabbing national headlines.
The mother who spoke to FOX31 Denver on the condition of anonymity appeared on CNN late Tuesday night.
After seeing the story on Monday night, one of the Chaparral High School students in the picture has broken her silence.
“It’s hard to say sorry when that’s the only thing that can come out of my mouth right now,” the student said. “I feel like there should be a better word for it.”
At the request of her father, we are not identifying the student.
“I was very uncomfortable with this whole situation and didn’t know what to say or what to do,” the student said. “I don’t condone any of the actions that were in the picture and I don’t condone anything that has to do with the flag.”
The student says she was caught up in the moment.
“I feel everyone struggles with trying to do the right thing at the right time,” she said. “It was just difficult for me to voice that and stop what was going on.”
“She has fully accepted her responsibility and her involvement with the photograph. She’s owned that and that’s exactly what I expected her to do,” the student’s father said. “She needs to make better choices, decisions, and hopefully never encounter something like this ever again.”
The picture has dozens of FOX31 Denver viewers weighing in on the KDVR facebook page about the meaning of the Confederate flag.
We reached out to local universities to provide some context.
“It was first the Tennessee flag and more importantly the army of Virginia’s battle flag,” said Rebecca Hunt, University of Colorado-Denver history professor. “It was the symbol of the 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, the KKK.”
Hunt also said the flag has increasingly become a symbol of southern heritage and southern identity.
“I think we need to be very careful of what we choose as our symbols,” Hunt said. “A significant amount of black and white Americans have a negative reaction to it because they relate it to slavery and segregation.”