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Park City principal shares harassment policies and procedures after antisemitic incident

Treasure Mountain Junior High.
Park City School District
Treasure Mountain Junior High.

After an antisemitic incident at Treasure Mountain Junior High, the principal is sharing the school’s response.

A Jewish Treasure Mountain student, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke out about what she called an antisemitic incident in school. While in class on March 21, she heard another student say something like he “wanted all Jews dead.” After an investigation, the student’s parent said Treasure Mountain staff found multiple student drawings of swastikas.

Principal Caleb Fine said he couldn’t share specific details about this recent incident, but did share the Park City School District’s policy for harassment. The district has a zero-tolerance policy toward harassment, meaning harassment must be addressed when school officials are notified about it. The district also has guidelines defining how to discipline a student for an incident like this.

“It's fair to say that if you're engaging in antisemitic talk, if you're engaging in racist talk, you should expect to be suspended,” Fine said.

He also said the district uses progressive discipline. That means if a student harasses or discriminates against another student multiple times, the consequences will escalate. However, Fine said most students aren’t repeat offenders.

Education is also part of discipline. The school might have a student meet with a staff member to help them understand the impact of their words and actions.

Counselors are available at the school for students affected by harassment. Fine said administrators can also change a student's schedule or give them a leave of absence.

Treasure Mountain has made an increased effort to educate students about harassment and discrimination in light of the antisemitic incident and an Office for Civil Rights federal investigation that found over 180 incidents of harassment in Park City schools. At least 30 occurred at Treasure Mountain.

Fine said once a week in an advisory class, the students are taught how to prevent harassment.

“We're talking about the role the students can take in eliminating this, and we're giving explicit examples. And then we're going to move into resiliency, we're talking about some of the history behind these things,” he said. “We believe we have a role to play, we believe we have a responsibility to try to lean into the complaint and do more.”

Fine said so far this year, Treasure Mountain has had 12 incidents of students using inappropriate language based on race, national origin, sex or disability. However, he said some of those incidents weren’t determined to be harassment cases. Fine also said the school expects to see an increase in reported harassment as they educate students on what it is and how to report it.

“If we see an uptick, we're going to address that aggressively," he said. "Haven't yet in the first three weeks of this really intentional approach to try to get kids to report even more so than we have in the past.”

The district has previously said it wants to collaborate with parents to help prevent bullying and harassment in schools. Fine said parents can help by having conversations with their kids about harassment and similar issues and monitoring their exposure to hate.

Fine said efforts to educate students about harassment will continue through the next school year.

To end the Office for Civil Rights investigation, the district made an agreement with the federal agency to revise its harassment policies and procedures, provide individual remedies for harassed students and implement standard record-keeping procedures. The district expects to comply with the federal standards by the summer of 2026.