Oak Ridge student to be 'held accountable' for racist outburst at soccer game in El Dorado County

Oak Ridge student to be ‘held accountable’ for racist outburst at soccer game in El Dorado County

A student who heckled a high school girls soccer game with racist sounds over the weekend in El Dorado County has been identified and “is being held accountable,” according to the principal of Oak Ridge High School. The Oak Ridge High School girls soccer team met Clovis’ Buchanan High School for the NorCal championship on Saturday, where school and El Dorado Union High School District officials said a “completely unprovoked and unacceptable outburst was made by one individual in the Oak Ridge side of the stands as the game went from overtime to penalty kicks.”The Buchanan Girls Soccer team’s head coach Jasara Gillette said on Facebook that one of their Hispanic players was barked at by someone in the Oak Ridge stands and a Black player on the team was subjected to monkey noises and gestures. The team posted videos of both incidents.”There was no doubt that, that was a racist sound directed at the only African American player,” Gillette said. | VIDEO BELOW | Here is the incident when players were taunted with animal noises. But despite the heckling, Gillette said the game and Oak Ridge administration officials met and decided not to take action other than a “warning.” Oak Ridge went on to win the game. “Our players were physically and emotionally upset after the incident” and “this gave a huge competitive advantage to our opponent and directly influenced the end of the game,” Gillette’s statement said. Gillette spoke with KCRA 3 Monday night — explaining she’s never witnessed something like this in her over 15 years of coaching.”We prepare for the game to be loud, especially during penalty kicks. We prepare for there to be some noise,” Gillette said. “But we definitely do not prepare for racist comments.”Officials with the school and the district said the school would action to ensure the behavior is labeled as hate speech and take full disciplinary action as allowed by the education code.“This incident disgusts our learning community and embarrasses our entire school. There is no room for this type of individual behavior anywhere in society,” Aaron Palm, Oak Ridge High School’s principal, said in a statement. Discussions of the incident will take place at Oak Ridge classrooms, along with school-wide opportunities to reflect on what happened that are scheduled for the entire student body, school officials said. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) said in a statement that it is “unacceptable when those attending a game take away from all the hard work the student-athletes have put forth to participate in a championship event. The CIF prohibits discrimination or any acts that are disrespectful or demeaning toward a member school, student-athlete, or school community.”Palm said in a follow-up message to parents Monday evening that the student responsible for the heckling was identified after the game. “After the comment was made, the game was stopped. In the moment, it was impossible to determine who had made the sound,” Palm said. “The matter was discussed by the referees, a CIF Administrator, an Oak Ridge Administrator and a representative of Buchanan High School. The referees determined that the final shots of the shootout should be completed.” Palm’s message went on to say that Oak Ridge’s subsequent victory felt “hollow.”He said that the team’s goalie apologized to the African American player in the moment and the entire team apologized to the Buchanan team after the game. “Our girls played an excellent game and showed the best sportsmanship possible. They should not be linked to the crowd noise in any way,” the message said.

A student who heckled a high school girls soccer game with racist sounds over the weekend in El Dorado County has been identified and “is being held accountable,” according to the principal of Oak Ridge High School.

The Oak Ridge High School girls soccer team met Clovis’ Buchanan High School for the NorCal championship on Saturday, where school and El Dorado Union High School District officials said a “completely unprovoked and unacceptable outburst was made by one individual in the Oak Ridge side of the stands as the game went from overtime to penalty kicks.”

The Buchanan Girls Soccer team’s head coach Jasara Gillette said on Facebook that one of their Hispanic players was barked at by someone in the Oak Ridge stands and a Black player on the team was subjected to monkey noises and gestures. The team posted videos of both incidents.

“There was no doubt that, that was a racist sound directed at the only African American player,” Gillette said.

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| VIDEO BELOW | Here is the incident when players were taunted with animal noises.

But despite the heckling, Gillette said the game and Oak Ridge administration officials met and decided not to take action other than a “warning.” Oak Ridge went on to win the game.

“Our players were physically and emotionally upset after the incident” and “this gave a huge competitive advantage to our opponent and directly influenced the end of the game,” Gillette’s statement said.

Gillette spoke with KCRA 3 Monday night — explaining she’s never witnessed something like this in her over 15 years of coaching.

“We prepare for the game to be loud, especially during penalty kicks. We prepare for there to be some noise,” Gillette said. “But we definitely do not prepare for racist comments.”

Officials with the school and the district said the school would action to ensure the behavior is labeled as hate speech and take full disciplinary action as allowed by the education code.

“This incident disgusts our learning community and embarrasses our entire school. There is no room for this type of individual behavior anywhere in society,” Aaron Palm, Oak Ridge High School’s principal, said in a statement.

Discussions of the incident will take place at Oak Ridge classrooms, along with school-wide opportunities to reflect on what happened that are scheduled for the entire student body, school officials said.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) said in a statement that it is “unacceptable when those attending a game take away from all the hard work the student-athletes have put forth to participate in a championship event. The CIF prohibits discrimination or any acts that are disrespectful or demeaning toward a member school, student-athlete, or school community.”

Palm said in a follow-up message to parents Monday evening that the student responsible for the heckling was identified after the game.

“After the comment was made, the game was stopped. In the moment, it was impossible to determine who had made the sound,” Palm said. “The matter was discussed by the referees, a CIF Administrator, an Oak Ridge Administrator and a representative of Buchanan High School. The referees determined that the final shots of the shootout should be completed.”

Palm’s message went on to say that Oak Ridge’s subsequent victory felt “hollow.”

He said that the team’s goalie apologized to the African American player in the moment and the entire team apologized to the Buchanan team after the game.

“Our girls played an excellent game and showed the best sportsmanship possible. They should not be linked to the crowd noise in any way,” the message said.

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