(KUTV) The Weber School district issued a second press release Tuesday about a controversial video that has exploded on social media world wide and uses the racial "n" word.
The district said three of the five girls involved have been interviewed and said in the release: "The girls we have spoken with have all been very apologetic for their actions."
The release also suggests that the girls and their families are getting threatened over the video. After saying there isn't an excuse for the girls' actions it stated:
With that being said, neither shouldn't (sic) there be justification for threats toward them and their families. Hatred 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.
In the release the school confirms that all five girls were students of Weber and it is believed the video was filmed away from school on a trip during fall break, perhaps a year ago.
The press release also addresses what appears to be the playback of the video that looks and sounds like it may be playing backwards.
The phrase “serggin cuff” appeared directly below the Instagram post of the video, from an account that is now set to private, but looked as though it might belong to one of the girls involved. Playing the phrase backwards produced what sounded like the use of the "F-word" followed by the "N-word." The girls are saying it and laughing in what appears to be the video recorded playing backwards.
The release said:
It is believed the group was playing around saying gibberish words into an app, and when the recorded phrase is played backwards, it sounds like racial slur.
The district said it was investigating the video because it was causing a disruption at Weber High School, even though it wasn't involved with school activities or time.
"Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if the students involved are found to have violated the school's code of conduct."
NOTE: Below is the video played, but reversed from how it was posted and representative of how it was recorded.
The Weber High web page that contains school policies contains no mention of racism but warns about language twice, once in relation to being at school or at school sponsored activities. Under the heading CONDUCT it says:
Students are expected to behave in a manner that will be a credit to themselves and the school, whether at school or at school sponsored activities. They should take pride in the way they dress, the kind of language they use, and the way they behave.
The other mention falls under the clothing policy, referencing offensive language or slogans:
Miscellaneous: Clothing will not be permitted that is sexually provocative, mutilated, displays offensive language or slogans, advertises or alludes to substances a student cannot legally possess, or is gang related.
“I think it’s super offensive. I don’t think they should have done that,” said Dax Jennings, a tenth grader at Weber High.
Other students agreed the video shows the Utah school in a negative light to the rest of the nation.
“The girls who did the video are kind of public figures. People look up to them. And with them saying what they said, it’s going to kind of escalate from there,” said another tenth grader, Bronson Chaparro. “It gives us a really bad name as Weber High.”
The district had counselors at school for students Tuesday.
The students in the video were not at school Tuesday as the investigation continued. They could face disciplinary actions including suspension from school and extracurricular activities, counseling, or even expulsion.
The Weber School District web page with policies and procedures, has two sections dedicated to student behavior.
Article 4, titled STUDENTS doesn't have references to racism or language.
Article 5, titled STUDENT CONDUCT outlines prohibited language and conduct. It says:
"Prohibited conduct is forbidden at school, on school property, including school vehicles, and at any school activity. A serious violation that threatens or harms a school, school property, a person connected with school, or property associated with a person connected with school is forbidden regardless of where it occurs."
Section 2.3 says: "A student MAY be removed from school for the following:" and lists several several rules including D: "Foul, profane, vulgar, or abusive language;"