Kansas City Public Schools is canceling future athletic events with a high school after alleged racial slurs were made during a recent girls soccer match.
Players from KCPS’s Lincoln College Preparatory Academy reported to their coach that they overheard inappropriate and racial slurs used last week in a soccer match against Lone Jack (Mo.) High School, about 30 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City. The alleged racially disparaging comments came from the stands during the second half of the match, which Lone Jack won, The Kansas City Star reported.
“A Lincoln Prep coach told a Lone Jack coach that the comments were racial slurs,” Kansas City Public Schools said in a statement, as reported by Kansas City TV station KMBC. “According to the Lincoln Prep coach, the Lone Jack coach took steps to stop the inappropriate comments.”
Lone Jack School District officials informed KCPS that it has not verified any inappropriate comments made by Lone Jack students at the soccer match. That’s when KCPS decided to cancel remaining Interscholastic League games against Lone Jack through 2016.
“These types of incidents and allegations are taken very seriously,” KCPS said in its statement, as reported by Kansas City TV station KSHB. “While it’s expected that people will show pride in their home teams, extracurricular activities like sports are an extension of classrooms, and every student has the right to participate in a safe and respectful atmosphere regardless of their allegiance.”
Lone Jack superintendent Bryan Prewitt told The Star a school supervisor went into the stands to attempt to verify the comments, but he was unable to do so.
“We had a supervisor literally standing between the student body and the coach,” Prewitt told the newspaper. “If anybody would’ve heard a comment made, it would’ve been our supervisor, who was standing closer to the student body than the coach was.
“Our students and staff are very upset about this because we know that’s not who we are. Despite the fact that we have a very small percentage of our student body that is not Caucasian, we work hard at promoting racial harmony and acceptance in diversity of ideas and thoughts.”
In a statement posted on the Lone Jack C-6 Schools website, Prewitt added: “The Lone Jack District is saddened to learn that someone at one of our events felt uncomfortable. Disrespectful conduct will not be tolerated at our events. The Lone Jack School District remains committed to promoting a safe and positive environment for all of our patrons and guests.”
The Lincoln Prep soccer coach declined comment to KMBC. A Lincoln Prep Middle School soccer player told the TV station that she has heard disparaging comments made at other games.
“I’ve been to a couple of games, not one of (Lone Jack’s) but just a game in general, one that we played at where there were racial comments or racial things done,” Ryan Perkins said. “Race is everywhere, so you really just got to brush it off.”