Hundreds gathered to walk a Utah boy home from school after bullies yelled racial slurs at him and left him fearing he would be shot, according to KSTU.
Last Thursday, Mateus Romualdo called his mother after he walked home from Viewmont Elementary School. His mother, Heather Romauldo, said he was frantic.
“He was walking home from school last Thursday when a car full of teenagers drove by repeatedly yelling a racial slur at him,” Romauldo said. “He felt very terrified and actually told me he thought the kids were going to shoot him.”
Heather shared her son’s story on Facebook. It spread quickly and reached Mateus’ youth basketball coach, Troy Harlan.
“I know that when I read the post that his mom wrote about him being scared, I’ve gone through all that,” Harlan said. “I grew up in Davis County and I know what it feels like to be one of only two black kids at my school.”
Harlan wished he could have been there last Thursday when those boys allegedly called Mateus that racist name. Instead, he organized a walk so that Mateus would not feel afraid walking home from school on Wednesday.
With his basketball connections, his team had the Utah Jazz Bear at the walk and even retired Jazz basketball player Thurl Bailey.
“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. ”
Friends walking with Mateus held up anti-racism signs and showed their unity and pride in their cultural differences.