Spectators Accused of Racism at Game

Allegations of slurs lead to an acknowledgement from school officials.

Board members listen to public comment by a concerned parent regarding the racist allegations from SCHS football game.

Gabby Laurente

Board members listen to public comment by a concerned parent regarding the racist allegations from SCHS football game.

Cheerleaders from Lincoln High School (LHS) reported racial slurs being directed at them from a number of students and adults at San Clemente High School (SCHS) on September 13th.

A Lincoln cheerleader posted on her Instagram a claim that students and adults were both heckling and racially taunting her during the game and at half time when walking to the restrooms.

The Orange County Police Department (OCPD) made a statement about the incident saying “an individual told the deputies that San Clemente middle school students were… being ‘rowdy and obnoxious’. There was no mention of any inappropriate language or hate speech.”

LHS cheerleader posts her thoughts about the way she was treated at the football game.

The source and other students heard the racial comments being made. “While I was in the stand watching the game with my friends, I heard a group of boys behind us yell, ‘Let’s murk (slang for kill or destroy) these monkeys’, as the game was going on…and my friends told me that people tossed the n-word around to each other during the game,” said another anonymous source. 

Although SCHS did not initially address the problems, principal Chris Carter confirmed a week later that racial slurs were used at the game. “Our principal has sent emails to everyone talking more about what happened at the game and how unacceptable it is,” said the student source. 

“As a school and as a district, we do not tolerate racist or hateful rhetoric and actions that target any group or person. While we strive to be a diverse and welcoming community, our own students have told us that we have work to do. With their leadership, we will use this opportunity to listen, explore, reflect and act within our school community to ensure that our words and actions are inclusive and supportive of every race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and ability,” said SCHS principal Chris Carter (click to read the full letter).

SCHS administration addressed the students who were reported to have said the comments from anonymous witnesses who cam forward as well as security footage.

It needs to be made clear that his kind of intolerance and blatant racism is unacceptable, wrong, and completely disgusting.”

— Brandt

“A couple of my friends were called up to the office and they told our administration what they heard,” said a source. 

“Being at the game early and watching both teams warm-up, it was very clear to see that pretty much the whole other team was African American,” said the source, “I believe a majority of San Clemente students wouldn’t say anything racist, however there are people and groups that I wouldn’t be surprised if they said racist remarks.”

The San Diego branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), published a letter to the SCHS principal advising both the district and the high school to “institute a program of implicit bias training for all their athletics staff… provide an administrative contact to each opposing team who will be responsible for addressing such activity the moment it occurs at any future athletic contest [and] an announcement over the public address system at all remaining 2019-2020 athletic contests reaffirming that respect is to be shown to all visiting athletes.”

The San Diego branch of the NAACP published a letter to the SCHS principal and the CUSD superintendent with hope to prevent any racial harassment in the future.

Student, Gisele Brandt, a junior at SCHS, along with others are building up a RESPECT campaign which promotes inclusion, acceptance, and unity for all students. Brandt and her friends are hoping to prevent any possible events similar to this in the future.

“Whether or not [the racial slurs were said] does not really matter. It is that fact that is was so believable,” said Brandt. “It needs to be made clear that his kind of intolerance and blatant racism is unacceptable, wrong, and completely disgusting,” she said.

News trucks and reporters converged on SCHS on Monday after the game, questioning students about the event.

“The mood on Monday was strange and seemed almost like everyone was talking about it. It seemed like the school split into defending our school, saying nothing happened, or people who believed things were said and that it is totally unacceptable,” said the source.

Although the OCPD ruled out high school students as saying any racial slurs, students in the stands witnessed the comments and the administration took action to prevent any future incidents happening again.