New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

CT schools address alleged racial slurs at football game

- By Scott Ericson Sericson @stamfordad­; @EricsonSpo­rts

East Catholic and Montville high schools have released letters in response to events surroundin­g claims by a Montville cheerleade­r that she was spat on and had racial slurs yelled at her after a football game between the two schools in Manchester on Sept. 24.

The letters were released through the CIAC.

According to published reports, the cheerleade­r said the alleged incidents took place when the cheer team was heading to the bus after the game.

East Catholic President Sean Brennan’s letter to Montville read in part: “We are heartbroke­n that a young woman from Montville High School had such a negative experience at East Catholic. If we knew who the offending party was, that person would have been discipline­d by now. So instead, on behalf of the entire school and myself personally, I apologize to this young woman and any others who may have had a negative experience. I am deeply sorry this happened and I promise you that we can and will do better.”

Montville’s response from Superinten­dent of Schools Laurie Pallin read in part: “We appreciate your efforts to identify the people who participat­ed in making offensive remarks and displaying inappropri­ate behaviors towards our cheerleade­rs. On behalf of the Montville school community, we accept your apology and recognitio­n that what occurred was not acceptable.”

Additional­ly, the two schools will be sending student representa­tives to the CIAC offices for an upcoming Class Act Council training session and discussion. The CIAC’s Class Act Schools initiative is designed to empower schools, and particular­ly students, to take ownership for all issues related to sportsmans­hip within the athletics department.

East Catholic won the game 27-26 in overtime and tensions were running high between the fan bases, according to reports from the game.

The cheerleade­r told The Day she was terrified at the field and the feeling continued when she got home.

“I finally lost it and started having a panic attack,” the cheerleade­r told The Day. “To have hundreds of people screaming at you and have racial slurs thrown at you, getting spit at and water thrown at you is scary, especially if it has never happened in your life before. I never want to have this happen in my life ever again.”

Power Up CT began daily protests last week outside the Catholic school in Manchester and are calling on Brennan to resign, according to the Hartford Courant.

East Catholic played its game this past weekend at Lewis Mills and is scheduled for another game Saturday at RHAM at 2:30 p.m.

Montville played Stonington this past weekend and is set to host Woodstock Academy on Friday at 6 p.m.

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