The investigation into the statements made during the Friday night basketball broadcast is complete. A student playing with a microphone that was believed to be off during half-time made racially inappropriate statements that do not reflect the values of the Umatilla School District. The student made the remarks while believing to be "joking" with friends; however, there is nothing funny about racially hateful statements. Whether intentionally broadcast or not, words have impact and the District is taking this situation seriously.
The student involved is a child and the District is handling the sanctions for the student privately, as it would discipline and education for all children.
There is a trend in society, music, social media, and sadly, in our schools, of students believing it is ok to call each other names or use racial terms in a joking manner. Disparaging remarks are never ok, and they're certainly not ok in schools. We will be working with student and school leadership to be certain that our students understand the importance of choosing words carefully. All students should feel safe and welcomed in schools and words play a large role in creating such an environment, whether they're between friends, or on the airwaves.
If you'd like to explore ways to support your children at home in these conversations, we recommend reviewing the OSAA STAR initiative training and the OSAA "Interrupting and Preventing Discriminatory Acts" training. Both of these resources were created for athletics and activities, but they're helpful to us all in thinking through how to make our community safe and welcoming for all students.