Racial slurs lead to 4-game suspension for lacrosse team
Lacrosse is a rough game, but rough language is out of bounds when it comes to racial slurs. The Clarence School District has suspended its modified girls lacrosse team over comments made during a game against Sweet Home.
Brendan Cullinan watched the boys modified team play lacrosse Monday night in Clarence. The girls modified team has been suspended from play for the next four games after allegations that multiple players used racial slurs during a game against Sweet Home last Thursday.
Cullinan said, “They’re forfeiting the next four games, which is outrageous. It’s preposterous. This never would’ve happened when we were younger. I talked to kids on the team, they said it didn’t happen. Clarence was up 18 to 4, there was no reason to gloat.”
Shari Ahlers, a mother of a suspended player, added, “They’re good girls they play hard.”
Ahlers’ daughter is one of the 23 seventh and eighth graders who make up the lacrosse team.
“They’re very hurt by this. They do not want to be painted with this brush and they do feel that if it gets out in the media that they are racist, then that is a reputation they will carry all through high school, and they do not like that,” she explained.
The Clarence School Superintendent wouldn’t do an on camera interview, but sent out a letter which reads, “Although there was no admission of using a racial slur by any Clarence lacrosse player, we have determined that there is enough evidence to believe that the allegations have merit, additionally, the mere existence of such allegations demands that we respond accordingly.”
Ahlers responded, “I think that race relations in our country is a hot button issue right now and I think they just punish first and figure it out later.”
Sweet Home parent Jennifer Keem said, “It doesn’t surprise me that kids are saying these things. I think you hear it a lot unfortunately. In general, you’ll hear things like that from kids on the field just talking kind of like, smack.”
Clarence Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks says discriminatory remarks will not be tolerated and parents with questions about the team suspension can attend a meeting Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Clarence Middle School. A note regarding the incident was sent home with players on Monday.
In addition to the four-game suspension, the girls on the team will have to undergo diversity training with the National Federation for Just Communities, learning about different cultures and ethnicities.
The full letter from the Clarence Superintendent is below:
On April 27, 2012 the District was made aware of allegations that multiple players from the Modified Clarence Girls Lacrosse team had used racial slurs during a game against Sweet Home that was played on Aril 26, 2012. Upon notification of these allegations, the District immediately began investigating to determine the facts. Administrators in Sweet Home also conducted an investigation.
Both Sweet Home and Clarence concluded their investigations on Monday, April 30. Although there was no admission of using a racial slur by any Clarence lacrosse player, we have determined that there is evidence to believe that the allegations of wrongdoing have merit. Additionally, the mere existence of such allegations demands that we respond accordingly.
The use of such language is contrary to the values that define our school district and is also in violation of our prescribed code of conduct. We are compelled to take action in order to ensure that our student athletes fully understand that language deemed to discriminate against or demean any group has no place in school or athletic setting.
To that end the girls modified lacrosse team is suspended from competition for 4 games. All team members will also be required to participate in an awareness and sensitivity program from the National Federation for Just Communities during their regular practice time as a condition of remaining on the team.
A Parent Meeting will be held on Tuesday May 1 at 5:00 pm in the Middle School Auditorium to review team expectations and answer questions.
Categories: c.o.w.s., education, entertainment, public school, racism, sports, white supremacy
Tags: africa, African American, Allegation, Black people, c.o.w.s., Clarence, context of white supremacy, discrimination, Diversity training, education, Lacrosse, List of ethnic slurs, Middle school, Monday, Nazi, racial slurs, racism, racist, replace white supremacy with justice, Sports, white terror domination, white terrorism, white-on-black crime