Utah students say they were bullied, threatened for organizing walkout in honor of Parkland victims

Posted at 8:09 PM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 23:07:04-05

HEBER CITY, Utah — Some students at Wasatch High School don’t feel safe after receiving what they believe are threatening messages.

Grace Bingham was trying to get the school to participate in a nationwide walkout next month, in honor of the victims of last week’s school shooting in Florida.

What she received instead is bullying.

“There has just been a lot of hate and negativity, and it just makes me sad because there are all these kids who lost their lives and we are just trying to pay our respects,” Bingham said.

She shared with FOX 13 screenshots of some of the responses to her social media posts.

One boy sent a photo of himself holding a rifle with the caption, “I think I’ll keep mine :)”

Another used a profanity while calling people who participate in the walkout, “idiots.”

And a third asked, “For those 17 minutes can I shoot up my school?"

The messages are unsettling for Bingham.

“We’re all scared and people are treating it as a joke,” she said.

Faith Thurston, who was also planning the walkout, said, “Honestly, I don’t feel safe at school anymore.”

The hostility the girls are receiving isn’t limited to social media.

“We walk into to the school and people look at us and laugh at us and it’s just sad,” Bingham said.

She and her friends are no longer planning to organize the walkout. She hasn’t taken the messages to authorities and she fears more retaliation.

She is upset her classmates are misunderstanding her message.

“We’re not even trying to take away peoples’ guns,” Bingham said.

Authorities are urging any students who feel unsafe to come forward with their concerns. They want every student to feel safe.

When asked for a comment, a spokesperson for the school district said he was unaware of the messages the students received.