Hurricane police investigating after racist photo allegedly involving 2 students surfaces on social media

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HURRICANE — Police and school district officials are investigating after a racist photo allegedly involving two Hurricane High School students surfaced on social media Thursday evening.

The photo, which was sent to KSL TV, shows two younger people who appear to be wearing partial blackface makeup. Another person is standing behind them wearing a face covering what appears to be an imitation of a KKK hood. The photo caption contains a racial slur.

The Hurricane Police Department is investigating the photo, which circulated on various social media sites, according to a police Facebook post. Police are asking people not to share the post if they see it on social media, the post states. KSL has chosen not to publish the photo along with this story.

The photo involves two Washington County School District students and a non-student adult, according to a Friday statement from school district Director of Communications Steven Dunham.

“Words of disgust and sadness are insufficient to describe our feelings regarding the image that was brought to our attention the evening of May 16,” the statement reads. “This repulsive photo does not represent the concern, love and care of Washington County School District.”

The incident depicted in the photo did not take place on school grounds or during school hours, Dunham said. He did not know how far the photo spread or how many people saw it.

The students were disciplined immediately when the district learned of the photo, according to Dunham. He declined to elaborate on what discipline was taken, citing student privacy regulations.

He added that school district officials are consulting with legal counsel as they consider further administrative actions.

Dunham said school officials were “sickened by the photo,” which he said depicted a “racist act.” However, he said that the alleged actions by two students do not represent the views of the thousands of students, staff and teachers in the district.

“We will teach of love, kindness and inclusion; of respect for the fellow human beings that share our neighborhoods, our communities and the hallways in our schools,” Dunham said in the statement. “We will remind students that there is absolutely no room for the intolerance and hatred displayed in this image.”

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