Three Weber High School students who were filmed chanting vulgarities and racial slurs in a now-viral video have quit the school’s cheerleading squad, according to a source familiar with the Weber cheer program.
The source, who requested anonymity due to student-privacy issues, said the students submitted their resignations prior to any action that would have removed them from the squad. The person said they did not know whether the three former cheerleaders — or the other two girls who participated in the video — had received additional disciplinary actions, such as suspension or expulsion.
“There may have been other punishments from the school,” the source said.
Weber School District concluded its one-week investigation into the video on Monday, with school officials taking “appropriate action,” according to Weber School District spokesman Lane Findlay.
The video gained national attention last week after circulating on social media. In it, five girls — identified only as junior and senior students by Findlay — are shown inside a vehicle taking turns saying “F--- N------” into what appears to be a cell phone camera.
Findlay said Monday all information related to any disciplinary actions — including whether three of the five girls were removed from the school’s cheerleading squad — are protected under federal student-privacy laws.
“I can say that appropriate action was taken against all the students involved with this incident,” Findlay said.
The district, he said in a separate statement sent to news outlets, “has taken this matter very seriously.”
Findlay previously said that the video appeared to have been filmed last year during Weber High School’s fall break. It was believed the girls recorded themselves saying the gibberish phrase “serggin cuff” into an app that plays video backward to produce the offensive language.
Information released in a statement by the district on Monday confirmed those details, as well as reiterating that the students were not participating in a school activity or on school property at the time the video was recorded.
But posting the video — originally to a private account but later shared publicly by fellow students — created a substantial disruption at Weber High School, Findlay said, while also raising the issue of additional conduct expectations for cheerleaders and extra-curricular participants when they are on and off campus.
“Although the students reported they were just playing around and it wasn’t directed at any particular person, it doesn’t excuse the fact they knew what the words sounded like when they recorded it and played it backwards,” Findlay said in a statement. “Racism in any form, whether intentional or not, has no place in our schools or society.”
Asked Tuesday about the cheerleaders’ resignations, Findlay repeated that the district could not discuss specifics related to a student’s academic record.
“We wouldn‘t have any comment on it,” Findlay said. “Our stance is, it’s concluded. We’re moving on from here.”
Editor’s note: Originally posted Monday, this story reflects new information obtained Tuesday by The Tribune.