Metro Weekly

Utah high schoolers suspended after shouting “all gays die” and burning Pride flag

Police are now investigating after the students shared a video of the incident on Snapchat

Two high schoolers in Utah have been suspended after reportedly shouting “all gays die” and burning a Pride flag in a Snapchat video.

The students at Kearns High School in Salt Lake City, are now being investigated by police for the video, school officials told ABC News.

Granite School District asked police to get involved after members of the community contacted school officials about the video, demanding a response to its content.

“We are having police look at [the video] to ensure that there is no criminal implications,” said Ben Horsley, the school district’s spokesperson. “Looking at the video, whether if it was intended as a joke or as a serious and broad threat against LGBTQ individuals, it’s still a reprehensible act. We need to condemn hatred and bigotry wherever we see it.”

Horsely refused to confirm specifics about the students, but said that one was an incoming freshman while the other was already a student at Kearns High School. Both are members of the school’s football team.

“We want those two individuals to understand the implications of their actions and educate them on why it’s inappropriate,” he said. “Ultimately, at the end of the day, the goal of our football team, the goal of our schools, is to create respectful, caring, empathetic individuals with high character and moral standards. And obviously, this type of activity is not conducive for that.”

Matt Rickards, head football coach at Kearn’s High School, told Fox affiliate KSTU that there was “no place for that in our program at all.”

“It won’t be tolerated,” Rickards said. “It’s potentially a hate crime, so it sickens me.”

He added: “We have one rule in our program and that is not to embarrass yourself, your family or your team and, obviously, that rule was broken. So, there’s got to be consequences for that.”

Horsley said that both the school and the wider community had been “dragged through the mud as part of this process.”

“We want to make sure every student who walks through our doors feels safe and secure in the environment that they’re in,” Horsley told KSTU. “Whether it was done intentionally with a threat in mind or for humor’s sake, it’s inappropriate. And we’re going to address it in a very serious fashion.”

The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake has yet to confirm whether the boys will face criminal charges.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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