Coronado (Calif.) Unified School District's board has voted unanimously to appeal the California Interscholastic Federation's ruling that stripped Coronado High School of its boys' basketball regional championship over an incident in which tortillas were thrown from the Coronado side of the court toward members of Orange Glen High's largely Hispanic roster.
As reported by ABC affiliate KGTV in San Diego, the school board said in a statement Tuesday that it "voted unanimously, to initiate litigation regarding CIF sanctions imposed on the District on June 30, 2021."
The CIF ruling vacated Coronado's 2021 Southern California Boys Basketball Division 4-A Regional Championship win over Orange Glen and placed the Islanders on probation through the 2023-24 school year.
Additional sanctions include:
1. The Coronado High School boys basketball team will not host postseason contests at the section, regional or state levels for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years.
2. All other teams in the Coronado High School athletic program will not host postseason contests at the section, regional or state levels until numbers 3 and 4 below have been completed.
3. Completion of a sportsmanship workshop (to include a component of racial/cultural sensitivity training such as the NFHS Implicit Bias Course) for all Coronado High School administrators, athletic director(s), coaches and student-athletes.
4. Completion of game management training for all Coronado High School administrators and athletic director(s).
5. The administration at Coronado High School is strongly encouraged to engage with the administration at Orange Glen High School to begin the process of developing a positive relationship between the two school communities. Examples may include the following:
- The administrators at the two schools work cooperatively to provide the student athletes at both schools with a restorative justice opportunity.
- The administrators at the two schools work with a community-based non-profit organization to conduct community service projects with their student-athletes and coaches.
Coronado Unified School District said after the ruling that it had hired an outside investigator to thoroughly review the July 19 incident. A community member, identified as Luke Serna, said he brought the tortillas to the game and did not intend for it to be taken as racially insensitive.
"Yes, I handed out the tortillas myself before the game. I indicated that they were strictly for use if the team won," a text to KGTV from Serna read. "I never said anything about flinging them at the other team to either the bench players or the cheerleaders."
In its ruling, CIF stated, "n this instance, there is no doubt the act of throwing tortillas at a predominately Latino team is unacceptable and warrants sanctions."