Parents Call For Action After Librarian Seen Reading Racial Slur To Students

Feb 23, 2021, 11:36 PM | Updated: 11:36 pm

ROY, Utah – Parents of students at Sand Ridge Junior High School are seeking answers after a video showing a librarian reading aloud a racial slur in class surfaced on social media.

The Weber School District said the incident happened in November 2020 and has since been addressed, but parents who are seeing the video for the first time weren’t so sure.

A parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, told KSL TV her son left the classroom after letting the librarian know he was uncomfortable with her reading the n-word out loud. She sent the video to the Black Lives Matter Northern Utah chapter in hopes of starting a conversation that would bring about change.

Jacarri Kelley, president of BLM Northern Utah, posted it on the organization’s Instagram account and is in touch with the family.

“I think it’s disturbing that there is not a written policy that this word should not be said. It’s a triggering word, it is a traumatizing word,” Kelley said.

The district said the novel, “Warriors Don’t Cry” by Melba Pattillo Beals, was being read as part of a class project. They released a statement to KSL that said:

“While reading to the class, the librarian said aloud the “n-word” as it was written in text. Usually, teachers will not read aloud words or phases that may be considered offensive to others. There was a student in the class who objected to the word being said, and apparently the incident was also recorded by a student.

“The school’s administration addressed the situation with the librarian. She felt really bad about what had occurred, and came up with a very creative way to make it up to the class. She personally reached out to Ms. Beals and arranged for her to speak to all of the students in the 9th grade English classes via an interactive Zoom meeting. Ms. Beals spoke with the students about her experiences and even conducted a Q&A with them. It turned out to be a very positive, learning experience for everyone involved.

“As far as we are concerned, the situation has been addressed.”

Kelley argued the solution the school came up with doesn’t rectify the situation, and she wants to see change that will address student concerns.

“They are feeling dismissed and disrespected and they are traumatized,” she said. “They don’t know how to deal with their feelings.”

She hopes by sharing the video on social media it can serve as a teaching moment for not only the school but also the community.

“By this happening, knowing how upset the public is, it’s an opportunity for the school to do it right,” Kelley said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Madison Swenson

Boy hospitalized after falling from slide at Rose Springs Elementary

n 8-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition after falling from a slide at Rose Springs Elementary School.
20 hours ago
Utah State Prisoin...
Shara Park

Governor, lawmakers to address 3 inmate attacks on guards at Utah Prisons

The maximum-security unit at the Utah State Prison remained closed to visitors Monday after an inmate attacked a correctional officer on Saturday.
20 hours ago
Pat Reavy

Utah man accused of drugging woman’s tea, sexually extorting her

A Tooele County man who police say put a sleeping pill in a woman's tea without her knowledge and told her she could not stay at his residence unless she had sex with him, is facing criminal charges.
20 hours ago
Utahns filling up their cars with gas. (KSL-TV)...
Matt Rascon

Gas prices jump 26 cents in one week, Utah governor blames supply

Gas prices have shot up more than usual in January, with increases Utahns generally see in March, and Gov. Cox said closed refineries and increased demand is to blame.
20 hours ago
(Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Biologist explains why visitors are finding dead birds at Great Salt Lake shoreline

Thousands of birds have died this winter, many now washing ashore at the Great Salt Lake. A biologist explains what's causing the birds to die and what's being done to take care of the issue.
20 hours ago
Elif Ekin was born in Turkey, and now owns and operates Kahve Cafe in Salt Lake City. (KSL-TV)...
Jed Boal

‘It’s devastating,’ Utahn born in Turkey expresses her concerns after 7.8 earthquake

An SLC café owner was born not too far from the epicenter of the 7.8 Turkey earthquake and still has family and friends in that area.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Parents Call For Action After Librarian Seen Reading Racial Slur To Students