The Orange County Sheriff's Department said there was "no mention of any inappropriate language or hate speech" when deputies removed disruptive football fans from the San Clemente High School sidelines Friday, officials said in a statement posted to social media Monday.
Deputies removed San Clemente middle school students who they were told were being "rowdy and obnoxious" from the visitor side of the game between San Clemente High School and Lincoln High School on Friday, Sept. 13.
Lincoln HS administrators are investigating allegations of racism after students reported being taunted with racial slurs during the game according to a Facebook message Lincoln's Principal Stephanie Brown posted Sunday.
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.
Community activists spoke Monday including someone representing the NAACP. According to them, 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.
According to the sheriff's statement, no one mentioned hate speech and later in the evening when someone told deputies that a student had used inappropriate language, deputies were not told what language was used.
Deputies said the visiting team was escorted to their buses without incident for the return trip to San Diego as is protocol after games.
"The Orange County Sheriff's Department takes claims of hate speech very seriously," the department said. "And proactively works to ensure all residents and visitors are treated with dignity and respect."
The NAACP San Diego Branch penned a letter to the principal of San Clemente High Shcool expressing outrage at the lack of response from the school's administration.
The organization called on San Clemente HS to institute a bias training program for their athletic department and to appoint a person responsible for handling allegations of racism.
Lincoln High School serves approximately 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.