Mother of Students, Emery County School District

Mother of Students, Emery County School District

October 17, 2022

When I moved to Huntington I soon found out that the staff at the public school (part of Emery County School District) called my kids “Canyon kids”. I realized that this new name meant my kids were discriminated against and their grades would suffer, and that I couldn’t do anything to help that. It also meant that when my daughter was bullied that the teacher was indifferent, and let the child suffer through it. 

It felt like we were a blight to a community that didn’t like us and didn’t want us there. 

My third grade son had been a straight A student in his previous school and had even skipped a grade. But now having been put back down into his “age appropriate” grade, he couldn’t bring his grade above a C.

When I spoke to the teacher, it became clear to me, that I was something she considered dirty, and refused to work with me to get my son’s grades up.

When my Second grade daughter told me she was being bullied by a boy in her class because she was a “Canyon Kid”, I asked her if she had talked to the teacher to get help. She said she had told the teacher, and the teacher said “if you aren’t bleeding, don’t come crying to me”.

My daughter began wearing a large coat to school even in the warm weather, for something to hide in and protect herself from a mean boy who wouldn’t leave her alone. 

I had spoken to the teacher myself, and got no help. Canyon kids obviously had to fend for themselves. I did not have access to the boy's mother, and couldn’t find out who she was to help stop the bullying. 

I did not want my kids to have to fight. But I told my little girl, if this kid ever touched her again that she should go ahead and punch his lights out. Just don’t make him bleed.

This she did. It only took once, and the bullying stopped. I’m sure it wasn’t helpful for the reputation of the “Canyon Kids”, but it did make it stop. 

It could have ended a lot worse. It should not have had to come to that. But being treated different because you were a “Canyon Kid” made things really hard for the kids to go to public school. 

My daughter in junior high received a very prestigious award at her previous school just prior to moving to Huntington. She was a 4.0 GPA student, who never missed a day of school.

When we moved to Huntington she went to almost straight C’s and was in detention constantly. She had a really difficult time even wanting to go to school.

It took a lot of work to help her understand that we could still excel in spite of the mud slinging and persecution. The junior high was a little better about giving the grade that was earned, and my daughter soon rose to the top and started bringing home straight A’s and a 4.0 GPA again, which was more normal for our kids. There were four “top cat” awards available for the year, and she received all four for her grade. (Which meant she was the only student in the school to receive that award for her grade)

The other kids stopped calling her “Canyon Kid” and started calling her “The Smart Kid”. In spite of major opposition from the school’s biased culture, it is possible to excel, but it required rising above some major challenges to do so.

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