Lincoln HS Investigates Reports of Racial Taunts During Football Game in Orange County - NBC 7 San Diego

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

Students of Lincoln High School say they were taunted with racial slurs by fans of San Clemente High School on Friday night

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Racial Slurs Reported at High School Football Game

    Students of Lincoln High School say they were taunted with racial slurs by fans of San Clemente High School. NBC 7's Gaby Rodriguez reports.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 16, 2019)

    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 Facebook message Lincoln's Principal Stephanie Brown posted Sunday. 

    Brown said all the students involved would be interviewed on Monday. 

    San Clemente High School Principal Chris Carter responded to the allegations in a letter to Brown, which stated that his administration would also be conducting an investigation. 

    "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," the letter read, in part. 

    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, and the snack stand eventually forcing them to leave the game early. 

    NBC 7 spoke with one of the cheerleaders involved who said she was walking to the snack stand when she was called the "n-word" and told to go back to Africa. She said at that point she wanted to go home.

    "I didn't want to be here anymore. What's the point of being up here if we are going to be called names?" said La'ren Daniel, a Lincoln High School cheerleader.

    Racial Slurs at Highschool Football Game in Orange CountyRacial Slurs at Highschool Football Game in Orange County

    Students of Lincoln High School say they were taunted with racial slurs by fans of San Clemente High School on Friday night. NBC 7's Audra Stafford has more.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 16, 2019)

    The NAACP San Diego Branch penned a letter to the principal of San Clemente High School expressing 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. 

    In Carter's letter he noted that, regardless of the outcome of their investigation, they would use the incident to "take specific action with our school community," but did not go further to explain what steps would be taken. 

    Generation Justice San Diego, a local youth activist group, held a news conference at San Clemente High School Monday morning to urge school officials to create an action plan to prevent further bias. 

    Generation Justice Director Aeramique Glass Blake said it is important for her organization to call out every racism or bias to ensure it doesn't spread. 

    "We’re not sensitive; this is what I do all day every day. We’re not sensitive; I’ve been through worse. But these kids have a chance to turn this around," she said. 

    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."

    Lincoln High School serves less than 1,500 students and is comprised of 99 percent minority students, according to Public School Review

    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.

    In 2017, journalists and protesters were assaulted in Orange County by alleged members of a militant Southern California white supremacist group during a political rally. A Redondo Beach resident pleaded guilty to violating the federal riots act and charges against three others were dismissed

    Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

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