Bonneville Jr. High assistant principal on leave over allegations of racism

May 17, 2022, 11:21 PM | Updated: May 18, 2022, 11:31 am

HOLLADAY, Utah — An assistant principal in the Granite School District is on paid leave after a student says he made a racist comment toward her.

It happened Tuesday at Bonneville Junior High School.

Eighth-grader Melanie Oeur, who is Cambodian/Bosnian, says she was singled out due to the color of her skin for a dress-code violation. She says the assistant principal didn’t “dress code” any of the white girls.

“I said, ‘Is it because I’m brown?’ and he said, ‘Yes.’”

Oeur said the confrontation was loud and heard by lots of students.

“Everyone’s jaw dropped because of what he said to me.”

By the time the 14-year-old called her mom, she was in tears.

Nina Fetik was furious and devastated.

“I picked her up and she is in tears, red face, tears flowing down her face, crying,” Fetik said.

Fetik said this will be defining moment in her daughter’s life.

“This is something my daughter will always remember.”

Granite School District released this statement:

Late this afternoon, the District became aware of a very serious allegation of harassment and racism that was leveled against an assistant principal at Bonneville Junior High school. Because of the nature and severity of the allegation, the employee was immediately placed on administrative leave until a District level investigation can be completed. Granite District and the Bonneville Junior High school and community, work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our students. Harassment and racism will not be tolerated in any form. We anticipate taking appropriate action once the investigation is complete. We appreciate the parent bringing this concern to our attention so that it can be addressed. The employee in question is currently slated to retire at the end of this school year, but an investigation is still warranted while they are still employed with the District.

Fetik is glad the district is taking the allegation seriously, and is proud of her daughter for standing up for what’s right. She says this is a good reminder that words matter.

“People need to know that words hurt and they sting and they leave marks,” she said.

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Bonneville Jr. High assistant principal on leave over allegations of racism