Sen. Jeff Flake apologizes for son's offensive slurs on Twitter

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Sen. Jeff Flake issued an apology not for something he did, but for something his son did online.

Tanner Flake, the senator's teenage son, posted a series of homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist comments on his Twitter account earlier this year.

He also posted screen shots from a gaming app showing he went by an offensive name.

The senator apologized for his son's actions in a statement: "I'm very disappointed in my teenage son's words, and I sincerely apologize for the insensitivity. This language is unacceptable, anywhere. Needless to say, I've already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well."
A spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League in Phoenix said the senator handled it the right way.

"Look to Sen. Flake's response as a model," Bill Straus said. "You can't just sweep it under the rug. You can't bury your head in the sand. You need to react and you need to react strongly."

Straus said many parents are having similar struggles with teens and boundaries when it comes to the Internet.