An elementary school student received an overwhelming amount of support this week after he was the target of racial slurs by a group of white teenagers.
According to Fox13, the incident happened last Thursday (Oct. 5) when Mateus Romualdo was walking home from Viewmont Elementary School. The student, who lives just a mile from his school, came into contact with a group of white teens who drove by spewing racial slurs. Frightened, he called his mother to tell her what happened. “He felt very terrified and actually told me he thought the kids were going to shoot him,” his mother Heather Romauldo said.
It was hard to track the culprits down, but Romauldo decided to follow up with a different tactic by encouraging the community to take a stand against racism and ignorance. Named after her son, “Walk Mateus Home,” was created via Facebook to bring awareness to racial biases and an intolerance to racism.
“I know that when I read the post that his mom wrote about him being scared, I’ve gone through all that,” Troy Harlan, the child’s basketball coach said. Harlan helped lead the march with Romaualdo. “I grew up in Davis County and I know what it feels like to be one of only two black kids at my school. The message I want to happen is that people need to be held accountable,” Harlan said.
“You’re not born to hate people, you’re taught to hate people. I don’t care what color you are: We are all the same.”
On Wednesday, (Oct. 11) hundreds showed up, including retired Jazz basketball player Thurl Bailey.
Romaualdo showed her appreciation for those who took part in the event and encouraged those who couldn’t attend to donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Salt Lake Valley.