The North Franklin School District is investigating allegations that Connell High School students yelled racist comments at Zillah High School players during a girls basketball game Saturday.
Review of video footage that surfaced online shows students from Connell High School shouting racist language and making offensive gestures at Zillah High School basketball players as they made free throws at the Connell gym.
At one point, Zillah coach Brandie Valadez can be seen shouting, “That is very racist. That is racist.”
The North Franklin School District released a statement Monday saying that its district athletic director informed the superintendent and school board about the incident Saturday evening, after which an investigation was launched. The district will conduct interviews and review video and social media footage, it said.
North Franklin Superintendent Jim Jacobs is quoted as saying that “any show of racism is inexcusable and will not be tolerated in our district.” The statement did not say what disciplinary measures might be taken.
In a statement Tuesday, Zillah Superintendent Doug Burge thanked the Zillah community for supporting students and staff in the wake of the event.
“We continue to be impressed by our Zillah community for the support you have shown our students, staff and schools through this difficult time as well as for your willingness to embrace diversity, express compassion, and show respect to one another in your daily practice,” he wrote.
He said the district strives to create “environments that are both physically safe and emotionally nurturing for our students.”
The Zillah district is aiding the investigation by the North Franklin School District, which includes Connell High School, and is offering counseling to students negatively impacted by the events, he said.