The Mercury News Weekend

San Ramon Valley apologizes for racial slur aimed at Dublin player

- By Darren Sabedra

A Dublin High boys basketball player was subjected to racial language from some students in the San Ramon Valley student section while shooting a free throw at a game Tuesday night in Danville.

San Ramon Valley principal Whitney Cottrell and her administra­tive team condemned the behavior, calling it extremely disappoint­ing, and said the students will be held accountabl­e.

In an email to SRV parents on Wednesday night, Cottrell wrote, “I want to be clear that in no uncertain terms, racist language or racial slurs will not be tolerated, whether our students are in school or elsewhere. We are all responsibl­e for creating safe and welcoming spaces both at SRV and when we are guests at other schools. Appropriat­e disciplina­ry action is being taken, and we will be apologizin­g to the Dublin High School basketball team and community for this unacceptab­le and uncalled for behavior.”

The Dublin player who was the target of the racial language is Black.

The player's father sent an email to Dublin school officials and the Bay Area News Group on Wednesday afternoon, detailing what unfolded. He said he was informed about the incident during the game, which Dublin won 79-75, and immediatel­y told his son's coach, Tom Costello.

“This is something that shouldn't be taken lightly or dismissed,” the father wrote, citing previous incidents at Danville schools. “We believe there should be more PUBLIC awareness/story about this matter in order to really make a change.”

In her email to SRV parents, Cottrell added, “We all have a

role to play in combating bias and bullying, and interrupti­ng acts of hate, and I expect every single one of our students to be committed to being upstanders. The physical and emotional safety of our staff and students is our greatest responsibi­lity and our highest priority, and we will always be transparen­t about incidents like this. Our counselors are ready to provide help to anyone who may have been harmed by what has taken place, as we know it may have been harmful to people beyond the intended targets. Our Wellness Center is also always open for students.

“I implore you to use this opportunit­y to talk to your students about the vital role we all play in interrupti­ng acts of hate and what it means to be an upstander — someone who intervenes on behalf of someone who is being harmed. We know some students think it's just a funny joke to use racist language and slurs, but that is just not the case. It's offensive, and unacceptab­le, period. I challenge you all to take an intentiona­l step this week to build environmen­ts where everyone feels welcomed and safe. We encourage you to engage in conversati­on with your students about the damaging effects of slurs and biased language such as the n-word.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States