Suspected racist taunts at school game investigated
CAMAS, Wash. (AP) – A school district in southwest Washington is investigating reports of racist taunts that allegedly occurred during a high school basketball game in December.
The Camas School District investigation follows a complaint filed by Portland, Oregon, Benson High School women’s basketball coach Eric Knox, The Columbian reported..
He said his team, made up of predominantly black people, were the victims of racist taunts and slurs on December 10 by Camas’ student section during a game.
Acting Superintendent Doug Hood, in a letter to Camas’ parents sent on Monday, said some interviews had been conducted and would likely occur this week.
In his complaint, Knox said the insults started during the college junior game and continued during the college game, with Benson’s college players telling him they heard people in the college section use the N word.
Knox ultimately told the referees he would withdraw his team if the behavior didn’t stop and Benson finished the game, winning 60-52. He said the Camas players were “awesome” and none were behaving badly.
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Director Mick Hoffman said KGW-TV that he appreciates both the Benson team who introduced him and the Camas leadership who approached him.
“Hopefully we can get to a point where we warn and don’t react,” he said.
Hood did not give an estimate of when the investigation could be completed, but said in his letter that racist slurs and remarks would not be tolerated.
“In our schools, in our hallways and in our community, it is a shared responsibility to speak out against injustice and racism,” he wrote.
Portland Public Schools in a statement called the incident an affront to the core values of their school district and said they were working with the Camas School District on the investigation.
The Oregon School Activities Association is investigating similar allegations in a high school girls’ basketball game in which players from Clatskanie High School are accused of using racial slurs in a game against the Catholic high school De La Salle North, The Oregonian / OregonLive reported. in December.