Lincoln HS Investigates Reports of Racial Taunts During Football Game in Orange County

on Sep16
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Lincoln High School administrators are investigating allegations of racism during a high school football game in Orange County over the weekend. 

Students of the school say they were taunted with racial slurs by fans of San Clemente High School on Friday night, according to a message to students and parents from Lincoln’s Principal Stephanie Brown. 

According to the NAACP, the “n-word” was used repeatedly towards members of Lincoln High’s football players and cheerleaders. The organization said members of the cheer squad were verbally harassed in restrooms, eventually forcing them to leave the game early. 

Generation Justice San Diego, a local youth activist group, is planning to hold a press conference at San Clemente High School Monday morning about the alleged racism. 

The NAACP San Diego Branch penned a letter to the principal of San Clemente HS, Kirsten Vital, expressing their outrage at the lack of response from the school’s administration. 

“Athletics are part of the educational system, and all of the anti-discrimination law and policy that applies in the classroom applies on the field and on the premises of an athletic contest,” the statement read in part. 

The organization called on San Clemente High School to institute a bias training program for their athletic department and to appoint a person responsible for handling allegations of racism. They also asked the school to make an announcement about respect ahead of all future football games of the season. 

On Sunday, Lincoln High School principal Stephanie Brown posted a message to the school’s Facebook page that read:

“Dear Hornet Family,

I’m saddened to share with you reports of racism directed against our students at the football game in San Clemente on Friday night. At least several of our students were met with racial slurs by the fans of the other team. Our administrations team is continuing to investigate the incident and we are taking this very seriously.

Early information also seems to show our students responded to the racist taunts with the maturity and restraints we would expect. They reported it to school leaders, and together we are taking action.

On Monday, Vice Principal Eric Brown will be interviewing all students involved to document the incident.

In the meantime, I have already spoken with Superintendent Marten, who has offered Lincoln her full support for our school and our students.

I am sorry to have to share such difficult news with you so early in the school year. We expect our students and staff to stand up against racism and hatred when they see it, and it’s up to us responsible adults in the community to do the same.”

Principal Chris Carter of San Clemente High School in turn sent a message to Brown that read in part:

“We are deeply concerned by the allegation that racist and offensive comments were directed towards your students and fans at the football game this past Friday. As the Principal of San Clemente High School, I work with my faculty, staff, students, families, and community to maintain the highest standards of respect for all individuals. We do not condone racist speech or actions at our school, and we unreservedly condemn hateful rhetoric that targets any person or group. 

“We are conducting a thorough investigation on these accusations with our Orange County Sheriff’s Department, administration, staff, and others who were present supervising the game. We take these claims very seriously. We ask the communities of San Clemente and Lincoln High School to please share any evidence that would assist us with the investigation.

“Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, we will use this opportunity to take specific action with our school community to ensure that our words and actions meet our high standards and that every single person on our campus as a student, family member or guest feels safe and welcome. We look forward to working with your school community to ensure a positive resolution.”

San Clemente High School is part of the Capistrano Unified School District and serves about 3,000 students. About 64 percent of the student body are described as white and less than 1 percent are described as African American. 

Another Orange County school was recently accused of racism when a November 2018 video resurfaced in March. The video allegedly showed members of the Pacifica High School boys’ water polo team making a Nazi salute and singing a propaganda song.


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