SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA) — School officials in San Clemente and San Diego are investigating reports Monday that racial slurs, including the n-word, were hurled at the football team and cheerleaders visiting San Clemente High School for a game.
Lincoln High School’s football team traveled to San Clemente High School from San Diego on Friday for a game that school officials say some were forced to leave early after racially charged taunts were directed at them by both students and adults.
Multiple reports by our students & parents have been made from last nights game vs @Tritonfootball in San Clemente. Both teams battled & this should not take away from their teams victory but this type of behavior should never be tolerated. Let’s clean this up#LincolnCertified pic.twitter.com/ETCiVX1hII
— LINCOLN HORNETS (@TheHiveFootball) September 14, 2019
At a news conference Monday morning, Aeiramique Glass Blake, the founder of social activist group Generation Justice and a candidate for Congress, said, “There was other racial slurs, they were calling them dogs, saying they would dog-walk them,” she said.
A social media post from a student who identified herself only as a majorette for Lincoln said she was called the n-word to her face several times when she went to the restroom area.
A tweet from parent Jenette O’Brien said San Clemente fans came over to the visitor side to abuse visiting fans with racial slurs, including the n-word.
@ San Clemente HS game and can’t believe what a classless & disrespectful group of fans they have. SC fans came to the visitor side and used racial slurs including the N-word. Unbelievable. People talk about Lincoln but you need to teach these kids about racial equality & respect
— Jenette O'Brien (@ObrienJenette) September 14, 2019
“We were trying to figure out why our fans were leaving early and to find out later on that that was happening, it really hurt,” Lincoln High football coach Dan Smith said.
The San Diego chapter of the NAACP wrote a letter to San Clemente High School Principal Chris Carter and Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Kirsten Vital to condemn what happened at Friday night’s game. The letter said that Lincoln players and the cheer squad were heckled with racial slurs, not only from students, but also from adult fans.
“The cheer squad, closer to the spectators and therefore in more direct contact with the racists in attendance, were advised to leave the game and did so,” the letter read.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) said any claims that authorities were initially unresponsive to the allegations were “inaccurate and misleading”.
— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSheriff) September 16, 2019
Those students were subsequently removed from the area by deputies, authorities said, adding there was “no mention of any inappropriate language or hate speech.”
The principals of both schools say they are investigating the reports. San Clemente High Principal Chris Carter said he was “deeply concerned” by the reports of offensive comments and investigating the accusations with help from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, administration and staff.
Lincoln High Principal Stephanie Brown said the school’s vice principal will be interviewing all students involved to document the incident, but also commended her students for “responding to the racist taunts with the maturity and restraint we would expect.”