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NAACP calls for Utah schools to address rise in racial bullying

SALT LAKE CITY – The NAACP is calling on school districts and the Department of Justice to try and do something about a disturbing trend they’ve seen in Utah.

They’re not seeing a rise in threats, necessarily, but, NAACP Salt Lake Branch President Jeanetta Williams says they’re seeing more and more kids using the N-word on their social media pages over the past couple of years.

“We’ve had a couple of incidents in elementary schools.  For the most part, it’s in high schools,” she says.

Williams believes a lot of students may post that word as a joke, but, she thinks they don’t truly understand how threatened African-American students may feel when they read it.

“Don’t think it’s funny.  There are consequences.  Regardless of if they think that it’s not going to get out there in social media, nowadays, it’s going to get out,” according to Williams.

She’s not calling on kids to be suspended over the use of the word, but, she wants local and federal agencies to create a better education program to teach kids to think about the consequences of the word before they post it.

“The NAACP is saying, ‘Enough is enough.’  We can’t continue to having to call the principal each and every time these incidents happen,” Williams says.

Even if a school doesn’t have a policy prohibiting the use of that specific word, Williams says the use of it could come back to haunt the student who posted it.

“They do have policies against discrimination and racism,” she says.