PLEASANT VIEW, Utah – The Weber School District is investigating after a video showing students shouting a racial slur started circulating online.
The district said it learned of the short video Monday night which appears to show five Weber High School girls “casually shouting the f-word followed by the n-word.”
Editor’s Note: Fox 13 News has altered this video to blur the teens’ faces and to play the video backwards, hearing the way it was originally recorded.
According to the district, the teens are Weber High juniors and seniors; at least three are cheerleaders.
These students were asked to stay home from school Tuesday.
"We are shocked by the conduct of these students and the contents of the video," the district said in a news release. "School officials have started an investigation and the matter is being taken very seriously. We are trying to determine when the video was made, where it was filmed, why the students would engage in such conduct, and how the clip ended up on social media."
This video containing the racial slurs appears to have been posted to Instagram in reverse.
Weber District officials said it seems the teens were actually saying an unintelligible phrase, "something similar to 'surgeon cuff.'"
"The video was then possibly uploaded into an app that plays it backwards, producing an entirely different sounding phrase," the district said. "In this case, a very derogatory, offense racial slur. Our IT department is working to confirm this."
District officials said racism, whether it was intended or not, has no place in its schools.
Administrators said the district is thoroughly investigating the incident and that it will take action against any student who is determined to have violated the code of conduct.
"We also wish to remind everyone that these are kids, and sometimes kids do really stupid things without thinking. Certainly, there are no excuses for this type of behavior, but they are still children in a sense and hopefully this will be a learning experience for them and others."
Officials said they believe the video was recorded a year ago while the students were on fall break.
"A year after the video was made, one of the girls shared it on a social media platform as a private post," the district said. "It was viewed by other students who then reposted it to other social media sites."
The district said there is no excuse for these actions however, it is asking for patience while it takes care of the situation.
"With that being said, neither shouldn’t [sic] there be justification for threats toward them and their families," the district said.
"Hatred only breeds more hatred. These are teenagers who made a big mistake, and they will be held accountability [sic]. Please be patient and reasonable as we deal with this situation."