San Clemente High School confirmed Friday they found evidence of racial taunting during a football game against San Diego-area Lincoln High School at their school last week.
“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,” San Clemente Principal Chris Carter wrote in a letter to parents.
Students and community members from Lincoln High School claimed they were taunted with racial slurs by fans and community members of San Clemente High School on Sept. 13.
"I didn't want to be here anymore. What's the point of being up here if we are going to be called names?" Lincoln High School cheerleader La'ren Daniel said in an earlier interview.
San Clemente’s letter said they compiled statements from both high schools and law enforcement. “In addition, we reviewed eight hours of video captured during the game from multiple cameras throughout the stadium.”
Lincoln High School also confirmed the investigation was complete in a Facebook post Friday.
"The most important finding from my investigation is that our students behaved themselves with the dignity and self-control we expect from them. I could not be prouder of their restraint in the face of open racist abuse," Principal Stephanie Brown at Lincoln High School wrote.
The post also said students were "subjected to anti-African American, anti-LatinX and anti-gay verbal abuse. African-American students in particular were told to go back to Africa."
Brown said the complete investigation will be posted on the school's website early next week.
According to an NAACP letter, San Clemente supporters repeatedly used the “n-word” towards members of Lincoln High’s football players and cheerleaders. The organization also said members of the cheer squad were verbally harassed in restrooms and the snack stand area.
“This harassment came not only from high-school-age youth but also from adult fans,” the letter read.
The NAACP’s letter to the principal of San Clemente High School expressed outrage at the lack of response from the San Clemente High's administration. The letter also called for implicit bias training and other resources to address the incident.
San Clemente Principal Carter said their students would participate in a "Restorative Circle and a one-day workshop facilitated by the Anti-Defamation League to address bias, bullying and allyship."
“Additionally, San Clemente High School will be doing ongoing work with the Anti-Defamation League to provide meaningful and comprehensive resources, trainings, and support to address implicit bias and hate speech. We will incorporate lessons that help educate students and staff on the history and current reality of prejudice and racism in our country,” he added.
Read the full letter below or click here.
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 63 percent of the student body are described as white and less than 1 percent are described as African American, according to their School Accountability Report Card.
Principal Stephanie Brown added, "We will challenge San Clemente to become a 'No Place for Hate' school with an ongoing focus on anti-bias education."