Racist High: Roy High School


Photo | The Salt Lake Tribune

Students and parents speak out about racism from Roy High against Hunter High

In an age where an incident in any corner of the world is immediately documented through various electronic devices, it is no surprise when highly offensive events are seen on social media. 

A TikTok recently went viral capturing the students of Roy Utah High School. They were seen hurling racially motivated insults at the Asian American and Polynesian students. In the video, the students are seen barking and yelling at these students with surrounding faculty not doing anything to stop it. As well as not providing discipline to the students involved for a number of days after. 

  “Many parents and students spoke about their racist encounters at the school. The district didn’t seem to have much concern but gave in [to punish the students] after public backlash. This is only one of many incidents in Utah [and Utah schools] where racism takes place,” said Violet Newberry, 10. 

Between 2015 and 2020, there have been 212 incidents in which racial slurs were used against black students at Roy High , and they were even told by district officials to “not be so sensitive.” 

As a school, it is the responsibility of the faculty to make each student feel included and safe, but instead they chose to let their students ostracize others because of something as trivial as how their skin looks. 

The whole, in my opinion, is very immature. It’s 2023, students need to grow up, people normalize racism and that shouldn’t be normalized,” said Siyah Kue, 10. 

During a game against the same team, the basketball team of Hunter High in Utah, the student section was also seen shouting slurs at Latino, Asian American, and Polynesian students. Students and parents promptly reported this to the faculty at the game, then reported to the Salt Lake Tribune that their comments were “brushed off.” In light of the fact that the students faced no discipline for their prior actions, it is no surprise that the same thing happened again. It is the district’s job to investigate accusations like this, and it is more than likely that the only reason they gave any amount of discipline (very little on this occasion), is because it went viral and thrust them into the spotlight in a very negative way.  

Seventeen Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations in Utah released a statement on the situation saying “as much as our 150,000+ Asians and Pacific Islanders try to make Utah our home, we are continuously reminded that we do not belong. We wish the state of Utah were a safer place to raise our children.”

The entire Weber school district needs to recognize that while some of their schools have only 1% black and Asian American students, they also have schools with 36% black and Asian American students. All students need is to feel secure in their schools, and this should be an expectation that Weber district must enforce. Action needed to be taken during the 212 previous incidents, not just when it brought them bad publicity. Because in the end, it is about the safety of students and the culture of their school as a whole. 

The people receiving that treatment knew it was about them and felt hurt,” Newberry said. The school board is acting ignorant and giving this behavior a simple slap on the wrist. Schools need to support loving behavior and not allow hateful speech.”