WOODS CROSS, UT (WCMH) – A chant popularized during the 2016 presidential election is being used by high school students at a football game, angering some current students and alumni and forcing the school to apologize.
In a 10-second video clip, students at a Woods Cross High School football game are seen chanting “Build the wall,” and holding up a cardboard cutout of President Donald Trump.
Ayelen Almada, a former Woods Cross student, is speaking out after her younger sister became involved in an altercation after asking the students stop chanting the phrase.
“[I asked them, ’Would it be okay if you guys didn’t hold it up, it just makes us uncomfortable,’” Almada said. “And they’re like, ‘Sure.’”
The student stopped, but a few minutes later the chant started again.
“They start holding up the sign and chanting, ‘Build the wall. Build the wall,” Almada told KSTU. “That’s when our friend started recording.”
Almada said her sister threw a water bottle at the section that was chanting and yelled at them to stop. Someone in the crowd threw a bottle of Gatorade back, striking Almada’s sister in the stomach.
Almada turned to social media asking others ton contact the school about the chant.
Some students turned to social media to defend the chant, saying it was about the team’s defense and not meant to be a political statement. Another individual said that the chant itself isn’t about race when used politically – it’s about enforcing current immigration laws and prioritizing those who are trying to enter the United States legally.
Almada said that using the chant under the guise of school spirit is hurtful, especially to those who don’t agree with the policy or the man who coined the phrase.
“Whether you support it or not, it’s not really something you should bring to an environment on a Friday night where kids are there to have fun together as a school,” Almada explained.
The school district released the following statement regarding the chant to KSTU:
It has come to our attention that a student-led chant has led to some serious concerns in our community. Many introspective discussions have taken place at woods Cross High since that time, and school administrators, as well as students involved in the chant, apologize for it and will move forward in a greater effort to treat everyone with respect and kindness.”
Almada said she is glad the school district spoke out, but she isn’t confident administrators will actually stop students from using the chant at future games.