Administrators at one Utah school district are investigating a disturbing video that appears to show a group of cheerleaders shouting vicious racial slurs. The 10-second recording, which was posted to Instagram, features a group of teenage girls who individually and as a group repeatedly yell “f**k n*****s” while laughing.
“We are shocked by the conduct of these students and the contents of the video,” read a statement from the Weber School District. “School officials have started an investigation and the matter is being taken very seriously. We are trying to determine when the video was made, where it was filmed, why the students would engage in such conduct, and how the clip ended up on social media.”
SEE: Children caught up in race relations in the U.S.:
Children caught up in race relations, political protests
Children caught up in race relations, political protests
Eight year-old Angelo Estes Jr. calls for the arrest of Officer Betty Shelby, who shot dead unarmed motorist Terence Crutcher, with other protesters outside the Tulsa Police headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nyla Joseph, 9, a daughter of a U.S. military veteran demonstrates with veterans outside U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's news conference outside Trump Tower in New York, U.S., May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Malakai McCoy, age 3 years, gets a touch-up from his mother Maybelline McCoy as he and his sister Amayah McCoy hold a sign next to their baby stroller during the 'Our Generation, Our Choice' protest in downtown Washington November 9, 2015. The Monday march to highlight race, climate, and immigration issues was timed to mark exactly one year until the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to protesters. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: A boy bikes with a march made up of mostly Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Broad St., en route to the security perimeter of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, July 25, 2016. The march ended near FDR Park and featured demonstrators supporting a variety of issues. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/11/22: Kids with Tamir Rice signs. Stop Mass Incarcerations Network sponsored a children's march demanding accountability on the one year anniversary of Tamir Rice's death at the hands of the Cleveland police. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/01/18: Trio of young protesters with hand-lettered sign. Hundreds of Brooklyn residents gathered in Bay Ridge at the site of an alleged bias attack for a march entitled 'Muslims Our Neighbors' in support of Bay Ridge's Islamic community. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/02/20: Asian girls with hand-lettered signs in support of Peter Liang. Dozens of activists associated with Black Lives Matter demonstrated in opposition to a massive rally staged by the coalition against Asian discrimination in support of convicted NYPD officer Peter Liang. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2016/01/15: A child among the demonstrators waives an Oromian flag. Several hundred Ethiopian-American demonstrators from around the U.S. gathered opposite United Nations Headquarters in New York City to express their anger over the recent deaths of over 140 protesters in Ethiopia at the hands of government security forces sent to contain the protests over the Addis Abba 'master plan.'. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2016/07/17: Eric Garner's infant daughter Legacy Garner holds a sign bearing the name of Officer Panataleo. On the second anniversary of the death of Eric Garner during his attempted arrest by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, Black Lives Matter coalition members and supporters gathered at the site of his death on Bay Street and then marched on to the 120th Precinct of the NYPD intermittently practicing civil disobedience as NYPD Community Affairs officers attempted to regulate the march, in Tompkinsville, Staten Island. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2016/02/25: Little protester with elephant sign. Animal care activists gathered in front of Barclay's Center to protest on the opening night of Ringling Brothers' circus against the circus use and treatment of animals in the show. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PLAZA, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2016/05/01: Members of the metro-area Syrian-American community rally for the ouster of Bashar Al-Assad. An ad hoc collective of Syrian-Americans and supporters from New York and New Jersey held a rally in Dag Hammarskjold Skjold Plaza near United Nations Headquarters in solidarity with similar protests worldwide on May Day to draw attention to as-yet failed attempt to impose a ceasefire in Syria and demand the immediate ouster of the Syrian Arabic Republic's President Bashar Al-Assad. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
School officials first became aware of the footage on Monday after it began making rounds on social media. While they confirmed three of the girls in the video are cheerleaders, there is no indication the footage was filmed during extra-curricular activities. The IT department has been instructed to look into whether the clip was created with a video-editing app capable of generating the offensive phrase.
“The video was then possibly uploaded into an app that plays it backwards, producing an entirely different-sounding phrase. In this case, a very derogatory, offensive racial slur,” the district explained, adding that the girls may have actually been saying the phrase “surgeon cuff” and playing it backwards.
Other students were quick to point out that, forwards or backwards, the intent was the same.
Weber School District spokesman Lane Findlay indicated that the students could be expelled or kicked off the cheerleading squad, saying, “All of those things would be on the table. Obviously, they knew what they were doing. It’s just completely inappropriate.”