Lone Peak High graduate returns award over transgender issues

Posted at 10:01 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 12:43:15-04

HIGHLAND, Utah -- A Lone Peak High School graduate is speaking out against his alma mater. He is even giving back a prestigious award, after three Alpine School District board members went on the record against President Obama's transgender bathroom policy.

Connor Richards received the Principal Award in 2013. It's presented to one student every year for "contributing to the spirit of Lone Peak High School."

"This has been hanging up on my wall as I've been going through college, really ever since I graduated, and it meant a lot to me, it really felt good to be honored by my high school," Richards said.

However, this month Richards said those feelings of honor turned to shame, when Alpine School Board members, Paula Hill, Wendy Hart and Brian Halladay posted an open letter writing in response to the president, writing: "This is not just a complete violation of privacy, but is morally reprehensible. The consequences of this social experiment would be disastrous."

"I really don't feel comfortable accepting the award, because what is it I'm being honored for," Richards said. "How can I be contributing to something that I either don't support or otherwise just don't understand?"

So last week, Richards returned the award to those school board members who wrote the letter and he recorded it.

"This is an award I received for contributing to the spirit of Lone Peak High School, I wanted to return it to you today because this is not the spirit I contributed to, and I do not support discrimination and that does not represent me or my values," said Richards as he handed the award back to Hart.

"As someone who recently graduated from Lone Peak I feel what they do really reflects on me," Richards said. "I wanted to make a statement that a graduate of Lone Peak is not OK with this."

The Alpine School District says this letter does not represent the school district as a whole, only the beliefs of three of their board members. Those board members did not return FOX 13 emails for comment.