A school district in Northern Utah is investigating a video showing Weber High School students yelling a racial slur.
According to Salt Lake City’s Fox13, the incident was filmed more than one year ago but it only surfaced in recent days.
“It was not filmed at the school, nor was it related to any school function or activity. The students were on a trip outside of school on their own personal time,” the Weber School District said in a press release.
Girls were saying meaningless words into an app on a phone. They recorded a phrase that when played backward sounds like a racial slur used for black people.
“A year after the video was made, one of the girls shared it on a social media platform as a private post. It was viewed by other students who then re-posted it to other social media sites,” the statement said.
In a 10-second clip, they’re seen smiling and giggling before yelling the epithet.
According to Lane Findlay, a spokesperson for the school in an interview, the girls repeated the phrase, “serggin cuff” and played it backward. Findlay confirmed they’re cheerleaders, and they could face disciplinary action, including being kicked off the team, HuffPost reported.
“It doesn’t excuse their behavior in any way,” Findlay added to HuffPost. “It’s still offensive and inappropriate.”
“It’s being taken very seriously,” he said. “We realize it’s affected many students at the school, but we want to be fair and thorough and ask for everyone’s patience.”
The Weber School District added to Fox it is noting the severity of the situation.
“We understand this is a very sensitive matter and it has invoked a lot of strong emotional response from people all over the world. There is no excuse for these girl’s action. With that being said, neither shouldn’t there be justification for threats toward them and their families. Hatred only breeds more hatred. These are teenagers who made a big mistake, and they will be held accountability [sic]. Please be patient and reasonable as we deal with this situation,” it said.
Findlay said that a resolution on the mater is due next week.