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An Instagram video of Utah high school students repeatedly shouting the n-word has sparked an investigation, school officials confirmed Tuesday. The video shows five students from Weber High School in Pleasant View chanting "fuck n*****s" and laughing. According to Fox 13 Now, the clip was filmed in 2016 during fall break and recently shared on a private account before being ripped by other students.
"We understand this is a very sensitive matter and it has invoked a lot of strong emotional response from people all over the world," a Weber School District spokesperson said. "There is no excuse for these girl's actions. With that being said, neither shouldn't there be justification for threats toward them and their families. Hatred only breeds more hatred. These are teenagers who made a big mistake, and they will be held accountability [sic]. Please be patient and reasonable as we deal with this situation." The district also clarified that the clip was not filmed on school grounds or related to any school event.
Weber School District spokesperson Lane Findlay spoke with the Salt Lake Tribune Tuesday, confirming that the students in the video are juniors and seniors at Weber High School. Three of the students are on the school's cheerleading squad. Findlay, citing interviews with the students, added that "it appears" they recorded themselves chanting "serggin cuff" and then reversed the footage before posting. Findlay was clear, however, that the students "obviously" knew what they were doing. "It's just completely inappropriate," Findlay said.
Potential consequences for the video's content ranges from counseling to expulsion. In a separate statement quoted by the Root Wednesday, a spokesperson said the district wanted to "remind everyone that these are kids, and sometimes kids do really stupid things without thinking."
The family of the student who exposed the clip said their son had received "negative text messages" from the students in the clip asking for an apology. "This is bigger than these girls," the family said. "No one should be making light of the words being used."
Weber School District did not immediately respond to Complex's request for additional comment.