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NAACP Warns Utah Schools About Uptick Of Racist Incidents

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's NAACP chapter is urging the state's schools to be proactive about preventing racial slurs and prejudiced bullying that the organization says have been on the rise since the 2016 presidential election.

Jeanetta Williams, president of NAACP's tri-state conference area of Idaho-Utah-Nevada, says the issue is a serious problem that she discussed with roughly 100 superintendents, administrators and principals on Monday.

Williams says reports about incidents in schools have gone up from one or two per year to roughly 20 in the last 18 months.

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Instead of focusing on harsher punishment for the offenders, she says schools should teach students that racist rhetoric is unacceptable and root it out before it grows.

Utah School Superintendents Association executive director Terry Shoemaker says administrators support the NAACP's efforts and want to stay involved.