OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – A racially charged video posted on social media has led to an investigation by the Weber School District.
The video was posted on Instagram and later re-posted on Facebook and has created a firestorm among those commenting on social media.
ABC4 has seen the video but chooses not to publish the phrases posted by the group. The video shows several females riding in a car and chanting a phrase and laughing as they say the words. However, someone used an app which reverses the wording and the phrase becomes an expletive and a racial slur towards African Americans.
In a press statement, a spokesman for the Weber School District said the teens in the video “have been identified as students of Weber High School. The district said the students are juniors and seniors and three of the four girls are on the cheerleading squad.
“We are shocked by the conduct of these students and the contents of the video,” said district spokesman Lane Findlay. “School officials have started an investigation and the matter is being taken very seriously.”
Findlay said the district is trying to determine when the video was made, where it was recorded and why the students would engage in such conduct.
The social app is used to reverse words and the district also wants answers as to how the original video clip ended up on the social media.
“Initial information suggests that the students may have actually been saying a different phrase, something similar to (deleted),” Findlay said. “The video was then possibly uploaded into an app that plays it backwards, producing an entirely different sounding phrase. In this case, a very derogatory, offense racial slur. Our IT department is working to confirm this.”
Findlay said the some of the students in the video have been interviewed along with their families. He said they’ve “expressed regret and are extremely apologetic” for what happened.
“Racism, whether intention(al) or not, has no place in our schools or society,” the district said.
The investigation is ongoing and the district said appropriate action will be taken against any student who violated the school’s code of conduct.