Two White Florida high school students have been suspended after an image of a distasteful (and racially offensive) sign of them asking their African-American friend to prom went viral.

The image, which shows two White girls standing on either side of a Black girl, has infuriated many parents and left them questioning how this happened.

One of the girl’s parents told Local 10 News that the sign was part of an “inside joke” and was never meant to be shared on social media.

Through their parents, all of the girls have since apologized for the distasteful photo.

“You may be picking cotton, but we’re picking you to go to prom with us,” the sign read.

The two White students attend Monarch High School in Coconut Creek. The father of the girl appearing on the right side of the picture said the girls did not mean to offend anyone, including their friend.

He said the girl, who is a friend of the two Monarch High students, originally was not going to attend the school’s prom because she is home schooled. The cotton reference was made because she is the heir to her grandmother’s cotton farm in Alabama, the parent said.

The picture was reportedly leaked by Jon Aro, a former student at Monarch High, who grabbed a screenshot from a friend’s Instagram page.

“They really want to apologize for their extremely poor choice of words in this situation,” a parent said. “They would like to take it back, they would like to find a different way to express this invitation to prom.”

An investigation into the incident is underway and Broward County Public Schools says they are working with administrators at the school regarding the matter.

“Broward County Public Schools is proud of its diverse student population and community,” Tracy Clark, Chief Public Information Officer told Local 10. “Our District is committed to providing learning environments that foster inclusion and respect.”

“There have been consequences, we understand the reality of that but the girls really want people to know what the truth is behind this,” one girl’s father said.