SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA) — Officials with San Clemente High School acknowledge that more than footballs were flying at a football game on September 13.
At least two students were accused of hurling racial slurs at a student from San Diego’s Lincoln High as well as “offensive and derogatory” comments coming down from the stands towards visiting fans, cheerleaders and players.
In an attempt to quell the situation, San Clemente principal Chris Carter sent a letter Friday to the Lincoln and San Clemente high school communities that said “based on our extensive investigation, we were able to confirm that two individuals in the restroom used a racial epithet when addressing a Lincoln High School student. In addition, statements we collected confirmed that derogatory words were heard in our bleachers.”
Carter apologized for the students’ behavior.
“As the Principal of San Clemente High School, I, along with my administrative team, deeply regret the pain to both the individual students affected and the Lincoln High School community as a whole and extend our sincerest apologies.”
Existence of the letter was first reported by the Orange County Register.
“We could not identify the students, but it is believed that they were San Clemente students based on statements we received from both Lincoln High and San Clemente students,” says Ryan Burris, Capistrano Unified School District public information.
Last week, Lincoln Principal Stephanie Brown wrote parents to tell them that several cheerleaders and students attending the game were “met with racial slurs by fans of the other team.”
Lincoln’s cheerleading squad left the game early because of the taunts, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
In the letter posted on Facebook, Brown said school officials were taking the incident very seriously and that a vice principal planned to interview all students involved.
According to Clovis Honore, the president of the San Diego branch of the NAACP, the racial taunts included “the n-word.”
Honore posted a letter on the NAACP website entitled “Racial harassment has no place in high school athletics.”
NAACP officials also held a news conference in front of the school Monday, calling on district officials to apologize and claiming OC sheriff’s deputies ignored pleas for help. Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes issued a statement denying the allegation.
“It is blatantly untrue,” said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the sheriff. “The only thing told to our deputies is there were some kids from San Clemente who made their way over to the visitor’s side, who were being rude and obnoxious so deputies escorted them back over to the home side.”
The hecklers were middle school students, not from the high school, Braun said.
Lincoln’s head coach, David Dunn, told the Union-Tribune that players on the field didn’t hear any of the comments but said they were made aware of the slurs at halftime from the drill team and cheerleaders.
“There were taunts from the stands. The girls were told ‘they should be on leashes,”‘ Dunn told the newspaper. “I was upset because it affected the young ladies. These are 14-, 15-year-old girls. There is no place for it. There was a lack of common decency and respect.”
There weren’t any racial comments made by San Clemente players or coaches, Dunn told the Union-Tribune.