MN high school declines future competitions after students allegedly subjected to racist taunts
The athletic director said there will be no games between the schools until “the harm that was caused is repaired."
The athletic director at St. Louis Park High School in Minnesota sent a letter to his counterpart at New Prague High School in which he declined all future competitions between the schools due to alleged racism.
As reported by local CBS News, in the letter, Andrew Ewald of St. Louis Park wrote that on Feb. 15, male student-athletes on their hockey team had a racist “experience” while playing at New Prague. The incident happened the same day the girls’ basketball team at Robbinsdale Cooper High School was subjected to monkey sounds and racist taunts while also playing against New Prague.
Officials at the New Prague district responded to Ewald’s letter and acknowledged the racist incident at the boys’ hockey game while also condemning hate speech by students or players.
“We know the hurt this causes,” said Tim Dittberner, the district’s superintendent. “The incident was dealt with immediately. We sincerely apologize for this incident and make no excuses for the behavior. We are taking steps to work with our athletes, student body, staff and coaches so these types of incidents do not happen in the future. We will be sharing more specific information about these steps at a future date.”
Officials in the New Prague district have reportedly hired an outside firm to investigate the incident with the Robbinsdale girls team, and will take disciplinary actions if the racism accusations are proven true.
“New Prague Area Schools is aware of allegations made regarding a girls basketball game last evening. We take these allegations very seriously and are having an outside firm conduct a thorough investigation,” the district said in a statement, KSTP reports. “If they are substantiated, the district will take prompt and appropriate action. We have a policy prohibiting racial violence and discrimination and strive to provide an environment that is welcoming to all.”
In his letter, Ewald said there will be no games between St. Louis Park and New Prague until “the harm that was caused is repaired and we are assured that any of our stakeholders, most importantly our students, will not be victimized by racism by any New Prague stakeholder in the future.”
Ewald also noted that he was initially hesitant about allowing New Prague to join the Metro West Conference.
“As I said when New Prague High School was applying to the Metro West Conference, ‘I will not stand for your community and students to have teachable moments at the expense of our students.’ Therefore, I will not tolerate or allow our students to further experience any racism while participating in athletics against New Prague High School,” he wrote.
St. Louis Park and New Prague will not face off through the 2022 spring season, according to the report.
Following the racist incidents, St. Louis Park will remove New Prague’s banner from its gymnasium, Ewald wrote.
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