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Black Lives Matter Utah alleges girl at Skyridge High School a victim of ‘hate crimes’

FILE: Skyridge High School in Lehi is pictured on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. Photo credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

LEHI, Utah — Utah’s chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM) says a Black student at Skyridge High School in Lehi is a victim of  “hate crimes”  perpetrated at the school.

BLM Utah’s founder, Lex Scott told KSL that the girl’s family reached out to their organization for help. Scott said the girl had several racist encounters with multiple white boys at the school. The family felt the school wasn’t doing enough about it.

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“The boys have called her the N-word, the boys make fun of her body, makes fun of Black people not having fathers,” Scott told KSL.

Claims of physical abuse

She also says the boys have physically hurt the girl, and in a recent encounter threw snowballs at her bruising her eye. She alleges at least 15 different ways on at least two occasions where the boys either called her racist names, made racist comments, or physically hurt her. 

Scott also said someone sent the girl a racist text. 

Scott says the family has filed a formal complaint with the school. The family also went to the school resource officer after the most recent alleged encounter.

“The resource officer told the mother he was too busy to handle it,” she said.

Response from Skyridge High School

Scott says the family received a letter from the Skyridge High principal after they decided to move the girl to online classes, reading that “All parties involved had been given a specific no-contact contract.”

Scott says the family was not satisfied with that response. 

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“It’s very broad, they don’t tell them how the situation has been handled. They don’t feel like their child is safe,” Scott said.

The following is a copy of that email, sent to KSL. The names of the girl and an involved teacher have been removed to protect their privacy.

Thank you for reaching out and for letting us know about your plans for ******* to do online classes. I know that ***** changed her status code for those classes, and we hope that the online transition is working well. Please let us know how we can best support *******with her classes. 

I wanted to give you an update as to our current status of the investigation and school action. The harassment and discrimation concerns have been broken into three separate investigations of interactions with three individuals. The first two investigations have been completed and we have taken appropriate administrative action with the young men involved in these concerns. I am confident that moving forward there should be no further issues with these students. I would ask that you please reach out to us if there are any further issues that arise. All parties involved have been given specific instructions regarding a no contact contract. Please keep us in the loop if anything else surfaces.
 
The final investigation is the most recent incident involving the text message. This investigation is currently ongoing with the Lehi PD. We have taken interim supportive measures at the school in this instance and ******* should have no further issues at the school regarding this incident. Once the matter is resolved with the police and at the school, appropriate administrative action will be taken in this instance as well. 
We will then turn over all of our findings from the investigations to the district’s student educational equity office for further review. They will also review our administrative actions and determine if any further action is needed. 
 
Just wanted you to have the latest. We appreciate your patience. We hope that the online experience is a positive one for ******. Please let us know how we can help ******* to feel safe and be successful at our school. 

Statement from Alpine Scool District

A spokesman for the Alpine School District, David Stevenson, also sent a statement.

“It is the commitment of the Alpine School District to strive to maintain all learning and working environments where students and employees can be safe and successful,” the statement read.

“Policy 7100, Discrimination and Harassment, was revised less than a year ago and provides clear procedures for any individual to file a school level or formal complaint. They are committed to maintain (sic) safe environments and their discrimination policy proves clear procedures to file a complaint,” the statement reads. 

Stevenson did not respond when KSL Newsradio asked if the boys were suspended or expelled. KSL Newsradio has also reached out to the Lehi Police Department to confirm if they are investigating. At the time of publication, they had not returned our calls.

 

This story will be updated.