A former Utah high school student has received $100,000 in a settlement related to his claims that he was racially abused by fellow students that included members of white supremacist group.
Anthony Armstrong, a biracial student who went to Alta High School in Sandy, Utah, said he was called racial slurs and threatened with a noose made out of athletic tape during his time at the school from 2009-2011, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Armstrong said some of the students who abused him belonged to a white supremacist group called Rawhide. He also said that the school’s football coaches and administrators neglected to stop the abuse.
A video of a student wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and making pro-Nazi remarks at a school assembly brought light to the group and the allegations of abuse against Armstrong.
Documents obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune offered details into the abuse Armstrong endured.
“Don’t you love the campus here at Alta?” one teammate allegedly asked Armstrong in September 2009. “Isn’t it funny that 30 years ago you would be hanging from one of these trees?”
On a bus ride home from a football game, Armstrong claimed a teammate threatened him and said, “I’m going to rope you, boy!” while dangling a noose made from athletic tape in front of Armstrong.
Canyons School District spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook that officials moved swiftly and took appropriate action when they learned of the events. The district’s civil rights department began investigating the school after the student wore the Ku Klux Klan hood at the March 2011 assembly.
District officials met with every English class at the high school to discuss anti-discrimination policies, Toomer-Cook said. The district’s insurer handled the settlement with no admission of liability, she said.
“It remains our highest priority to ensure an educational environment that is welcoming and safe for all students and employees,” Toomer-Cook said in a statement.
Armstrong’s attorney, Andrew Morse, said his client was pleased with the settlement and that he was glad the district is adopting new policies so that other students don’t suffer like Armstrong.