SANDY — Alta High School has launched an investigation after reports of heckling at a girls’ soccer game, where students allegedly got out of hand. But instead of being defensive, Alta High is now playing offense.
“When we receive these types of allegations, we immediately investigate,” said Canyons School District spokesperson Jeff Haney. “Canyons does not tolerate acts of discrimination on our campuses.”
The allegations were publicly brought to light in a Facebook post from Kate Woodward, mother of two of the Sky View players on the soccer team. She says both of her daughters are seniors and both are adopted. One is Haitian-American and the other is African-American. Woodward says during Tuesday night’s game, some Alta High students taunted her daughters and yelled racial slurs.
In Woodward’s Facebook post, she says, “Ok, so what could be so bad about anything that a student could yell at a player? I will let you decide if it was inappropriate or not. ‘Hey number 15, Black lives DON’T matter’ and ‘Hey n—–, great shot.’ The taunting continued for the entire game, but the racial slurs were more sporadic.”
In her post, Woodward also says nothing was done to stop the taunts, so her husband sent a letter to school officials. Alta’s principal immediately started an investigation.
“If indeed we can identify the students and identify the behavior, then we will handle it swiftly and justly and to the full extent, according to district policy,” said Haney.
Woodward’s post has hundreds of comments and it’s spreading quickly. The principal issued an apology to the family on behalf of the school, and the Alta High soccer team will be inviting the Sky View team to a dinner.
“They’re fierce rivals, but they also can be friends,” said Haney. “And so the team here wants to reach out that hand in friendship.”
The Canyons District is also creating a video that will be shown to all students at Alta High the first week of school. The focus will be cultural and ethnic sensitivity… and sportsmanship.