EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Granite School District releases statement on reported incident of racism

May 23, 2022, 6:47 PM | Updated: May 24, 2022, 8:50 am

Granite School District pictured...

FILE: Granite School District offices are pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Granite School District has issued a new statement in response to an employee allegedly using a racial slur while talking with students.

The statement from Granite School District

Granite School District’s Chief of Staff Ben Horsely issued a statement on Monday night.

His statement reads:

“Every child deserves to feel safe and welcome in our schools. We respect and share the concerns presented by this family and look forward to the opportunity to visit with them directly as our investigation progresses,” Horsely said. “As previously stated, the use of derogatory language or racial slurs will not be tolerated in any context. The employee remains on leave until the investigation is complete and we will take appropriate action at that time. We would encourage any student or family to report unsafe behavior of any kind using the “report a concern,” tool on our website at www.graniteschools.org or using the SafeUT application for mobile devices. Both tools can be used anonymously. We appreciate the help and support of our communities as we work to ensure a safe environment for all children.”

Rally outside of Bennion Jr. High

This statement comes the same night that students and parents rallied outside of Bennion Junior High School, where the incident took place.

Rally attendees spoke out against acts of racism, specifically referring to last week’s incident.

“It is a systemic problem,” said Rae Duckworth, the chairwoman of the Black Lives Matter Utah Chapter who led the rally. “I’m pretty sure I can bet any child of color that attends this school experienced something similar.”

Duckworth also had a few words to say to the accused employee.

“We are a community,” Duckworth said. “Look at us, we’re so beautiful [and] we’re diverse. If you can’t be our educator, then we don’t need you and we’d like you to leave.”

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Granite School District releases statement on reported incident of racism