Malad High School officials say they can’t ‘confirm or deny’ racist remarks were made

File photo Josefina Uribe

File photo
Josefina Uribe

By Jeff Papworth, jpapworth@journalnet.com

Malad High School officials said their investigation into alleged racist remarks by some of the school’s students at a recent girls basketball game yielded inconclusive results.

Malad High School issued a statement saying it could not “confirm or deny” that some of the school’s students “used and/or directed” the words “illegal” and “go back to Mexico” toward Hispanic Aberdeen High School players during last week’s game between the two schools.

Malad High School officials said they interviewed 41 of their school’s students and five adults. They also looked at video of the game for seven hours as part of the investigation into the alleged racist remarks.

Aberdeen High School girls basketball player Josefina Uribe alleged that Malad High School students called her an “illegal” and told her to go back to Mexico during the game.

Uribe, a senior, is one of two Hispanic players on the Aberdeen High School girls basketball team who said they were the targets of racist remarks by Malad High School students.

The other Aberdeen player, junior Destanie Ponce, said she was taunted for being Hispanic by Malad students during the game.

Malad beat Aberdeen 54-34 in the Feb. 6 matchup, which was played at Marsh Valley High School in Arimo.

Uribe, Ponce and Aberdeen girls basketball coach Ryan Wahlen said they were not interviewed by Malad officials for the investigation.

But Uribe and Wahlen said they are appreciative that an investigation took place.

Wahlen did not hear the alleged racist remarks during the game, but said he “100 percent” believes the comments were made.

“As far as we’re concerned here, we’re just going to take it in stride and move forward from it,” Wahlen said.

Uribe said she had hopes that at least one Malad student would have admitted the racist comments were made.

“I still can’t believe that not one student from the student section came up front and said that they heard it because I know they did say it,” Uribe said. “A part of me knew no one was going to say anything. Why? Because nobody wants to rat out on each other. But you know what, I’ll get through it.”