DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Covington Catholic High School closed for the day after students receive death threats

Jan 22, 2019, 11:43 AM | Updated: 12:51 pm
Nick Sandmann and Nathan Phillips...
Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann faces Native American elder Nathan Phillips at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on January 18th(Photo: Instagram/Kaya Taitano)
(Photo: Instagram/Kaya Taitano)

PARK HILLS, Kentucky — Covington Catholic High School, the school that has been at the center of a firestorm of controversy ever since a video showing some of its students in a confrontation with a Native American elder went viral online, has closed its doors for the day out of a fear for the safety of its students.

The school said that its students have been receiving death threats over the video, in which 16-year-old student Nick Sandmann stands face-to-face with elder Nathan Phillips.

The conflict at the National Mall

Covington Catholic High School confrontation

A still shot from the viral video of the confrontation between Covington students and Nathan Phillips. (Survival Media Agency via AP)

The first video of the incident to appear online was about three minutes long and appeared to show the students surrounding Phillips, chanting along to his drumming in a way that has often been interpreted as mockery.

It provoked an intense reaction online and was followed by an interview with Phillips, who claimed that the students had chanted “build that wall” during the altercation.

A different side of the story, however, later began to emerge as Covington students, including Nick Sandmann, shared their sides of their story.

A longer, nearly two-hour-long version of the video was released on YouTube, further changed how the incident has been perceived. It showed that the confrontation began when a group of African-American protesters called the Hebrew Israelites confronted the students for wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.

The video shows that Phillips approached the students himself. He says that he hoped to calm them down; he has told the New York Times that he was concerned that the conflict was “coming to a boiling point” and that he “stepped in between to pray.”

The students insist that they did not chant “build that wall.” The videos do show, however, that some students encircled him, chanted along to his drumming, and made tomahawk-chop gestures with their hands.

The school initially issued a statement condemning the students’ actions and apologizing to Phillips. In a letter to parents obtained by WLWT-5, however, they have said that they have hired a third-party to investigate their behavior and that they will wait until their investigation is complete before taking any action.

Covington Catholic High School closes its doors

Covington Catholic High School

A police car sits in front of Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

The ever-evolving details of the incident have turned a black-and-white story of racism into a complex moment that is being viewed from a different angle by almost every person that sees it.

That more nuanced viewed, however, didn’t come in time to keep a tide of a negative press and opinions from falling on the Covington students.

Protesters have already held a rally outside of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Covington, an incident that risked spilling over into conflict when a group that supports the student came out to confront. Police stayed on hand throughout the event.

Several students at the school have received death threats, as well, attorney Rob Sanders has told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Nick Sandmann, in particular, says that he has been directly threatened with physical violence. In his statement, he writes:

I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.

For the time being, WXIX reports that the school is playing it safe and asking staff and students “not to be on campus for any reason.” Any students or parents receiving threats, they say, are to contact law enforcement. The school will reopen, they say, “when law enforcement says it is safe to do so.”

In his letter to parents, Principal Robert Rowe asked: “Please continue to keep the Covington Catholic Community in your prayers.”

Dave & Dujanovic weigh in

Who’s really in the wrong here? KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic talked about this on the air, and Dave Noriega says: “There’s a few things that we cannot do as a society, and picking on kids – even if kids are misbehaving – is one of those things.”

If you missed the show live, you can still catch everything he and Debbie Dujanovic had to say on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast:

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

affordable care actaffordable care act

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

...
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
2 days ago
centerville arson fire...
Curt Gresseth

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

What's behind a recent spate of random violence in Uta?. A sleeping couple at home in West Valley City is stabbed by an intruder. A stranger enters a home with three elderly people in Centerville and burns it down. Greg Skordas, KSL legal analyst breaks down what he thinks is motivating young people to commit random acts of violence.
3 days ago
Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River. (AP...
Curt Gresseth

Yuma mayor talks about migrants illegally crossing into city: US has the laws to fix problem

An Arizona mayor talks with Dave & Dujanovic about migrants coming into the country illegally. He says the U.S. has the laws to fix the problems.
4 days ago
BYU study COVID money...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah’s young adults being launched into the world of financial responsibility

Because young adults are rarely in personal high-income situations, they are categorized as low-income, making them at higher risk for credit card debt. 
4 days ago
EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 17: The line of scrimmage between the Oregon Ducks and the Brigham Young Cou...
Curt Gresseth

Reporter talks about ugly chant from students at BYU-Oregon game

A Deseret News reporter tat the BYU-Oregon football game on Saturday talks about the anti-LDS chant heard and filmed from the student section and what may happen next.
5 days ago
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
Curt Gresseth

Americans pay more in taxes than food, clothing, education and health care — combined

On average in 2021, American consumer units spent $15,495 on food, clothing and healthcare combined, less than the $16,729 spent on taxes, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Debbie thinks the figures are low. Dave said the report from the Bureau is a good example to show much Americans pay in taxes.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Covington Catholic High School closed for the day after students receive death threats