SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (ABC4) — The father of a 12-year-old student is raising concerns after a teacher at Lake Mountain Middle School allegedly compared his son to Kim Jong Un and showed the class a picture of the North Korean leader on a large screen.
The father, who has asked to remain anonymous, told ABC4 the incident occurred on Oct. 24 and his son told him about it a week later. During that week, the father said his son had some stomach problems, possibly due to stress, and that he was emotional while telling the story.
The son alleged that the teacher, who was new to the class, put a large image of Kim Jong Un on the screen and said the North Korean leader looked like him. The teacher then allegedly turned to the class and said, “Right?” and some of the students laughed.
The father spoke to the Lake Mountain Middle School principal, who said the school is investigating and that the teacher would make a public apology in front of the class.
The father, who is originally from Japan and moved to the U.S. to attend college, said his children have experienced previous acts of racism at school. The father said his children have been made fun of at school by other students who called their food “dog meat” or their eyes “squinty.”
The father said he hopes “more awareness” comes out of this situation and that others can be more sensitive and kind.
“Being ignorant is not acceptable when you’re grown up, when you’re kids you make a lot of mistakes and you learn from it,” he said.
Kimberly Bird, a representative for the Alpine School District released the following statement upon request:
“Thank you for reaching out regarding an allegation being investigated at one of our schools. Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated in the Alpine School District. These types of accusations are dealt with quickly and in accordance with district policy. Our policy outlines procedures for investigations, and when necessary, action that provides appropriate safeguards while investigations are ongoing.”