LAYTON — On Saturday, March 17, Teague Casper will not dance with his girlfriend at prom. 

“I’ll be partying in the parking lot, I guess,” Casper said.

Casper was barred from attending prom, a decision made by Layton High School administrators on Feb. 10 right after he fought a white student who allegedly called him a “n-----” at the school’s Sweethearts Dance.

He was hopeful the school was going to allow him to attend his last prom after the three investigations into the incident concluded.

“I’ve been looking forward to this since I was a sophomore,” Casper said. “I was pretty sure I was going to get my prom back.”

According to school records provided by Casper, Layton High suspended the black student for two days and banned him from prom.

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Chris Williams, Davis School District spokesman, confirmed the alleged aggressor attends Clearfield High School. It is unclear what happened to the other student, since Williams could not provide details, citing student federal privacy laws.

Williams said the school district was conducting an investigation independently from those conducted by Layton High and Clearfield High. He said the three investigations are now closed.

The person conducting the investigation on behalf of Davis School District was Bernardo Villar, the director of the educational equity department. Villar referred all inquiries to Williams.

“(Villar) started with no notes,” Williams said, noting that Villar and the school district did not want their investigation to be tainted by the findings of the schools’ investigations.

The results of the investigations were not available to the public, Williams said, due to the student privacy laws.

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The Layton Police Department confirmed a report of an assault was filed Feb. 10, indicating the parents of the Clearfield High student sought to press charges against Casper. The police department confirmed potential charges were referred to youth court.

Casper said the resource officer at his school notified him that the charges against him were dropped. Layton Police Department referred inquiries about the case to the sergeant of resource officers, who was not available by the time of publishing.

Lex Scott, a coordinator with Black Lives Matter Utah, said the school district has demonstrated it is racially insensitive.

“Are we happy with the results?” Scott asked. “Absolutely not.”

She said she hopes the district has learned a lesson after the case gained public attention.

“At this point, Layton High School and Davis School District are definitely on our radar,” Scott said. “We are not going to stand by when you do this again.”

Casper said he recognizes he should not have hit the other student, but he hopes no other student of color misses their prom for acting in self-defense. 

He said students who feel they are being treated unfairly should speak out.

“I got your back,” Casper said. “There are so many people that got your back. Don’t be afraid.”

Contact Education Reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán at smartinezbeltran@standard.net or 801-625-4274. Follow him on Twitter @SergioMarBel and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/STANDARDEXSergio.

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