Two football players at Kearns High School in Salt Lake City have been suspended indefinitely from the team following the discovery of a video of an LGBTQ pride flag being set on fire.
The video, posted on Snapchat last week, shows an unidentified person setting fire to the flag as onlookers laugh. One voice on the video also says “all gays die” as it burns.
Football Coach Matt Rickards told KSTU-TV that he is, “more embarrassed and humiliated by this than I’ve ever been.”
“We have one rule in our program, and that is not to embarrass yourself, your family or your team. That rule was broken,” added Rickards. “There’s got to be consequences for that.”
Officials with the Granite School District are still investigating the incident and determining the punishment the students involved will face. It is possible both the student who posted the video, and another who later reposted it, could face community service or suspension from the school.
“We take any comment, content or social media post that is intended to make any student feel unsafe, very seriously,” said Ben Horsley, the Granite School District communications director. The video is considered a safe school violation, and as cyberbullying, Horsely said.
“We want to make sure every student who walks through our doors feels safe and secure in the environment that they’re in,” Horsley added. “Whether it was done intentionally with a threat in mind or for humor’s sake, it’s inappropriate. And we’re going to address it in a very serious fashion.”
The district is also reaching out to the local LGBTQ community to partner with them on additional educational opportunities surrounding the issue.