New investigation: Racial slurs ‘most likely’ used at football game

Dec 21, 2022, 1:07 PM
High school football...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Racial slurs were “more likely than not” used at a football game between Stanwood and Lakes High Schools, conflicting with a different investigation.

The Everett Herald reports an independent investigation ordered by the Clover Park School District made the conclusion.

The summary findings found the n-word was likely used in three separate incidents at the game on Nov. 4, including on the field during the game.

That differs from an earlier investigation from the Stanwood-Camano School District, which determined the n-word was likely used in the bathroom but not in the stands or on the field.

At least one student in the Stanwood stands likely used a “racially offensive” term to describe players on the Lakes team.The attorney who conducted the Clover Park investigation, Jeffrey Wells, interviewed 10 witnesses who all had ties to Lakes High School and reviewed 27 witness statements.

Coaches and players told Wells they heard the n-word and other racially offensive language used by Stanwood fans during warm-ups. Coaches told the players to “ignore it and that Lakes would ‘play the right way,’” according to the report.

The coaches also said that their players told them multiple times that players from the Stanwood team were calling them the n-word during the game. The coaches told Wells they tried to tell officials at least three times to “listen for inappropriate language” or “listen for racial slurs.”

Rantz: Investigation found no n-word slurs at football game, some media keep misleading

“Any form of discrimination, hate, or racism in our schools is unacceptable,” Stanwood Superintendent Deborah Rumbaugh said in a prepared statement Dec. 12. “We will not relent in our efforts to foster a community free of intolerance, racism, and inequity. And we will continue our important equity work outlined in greater detail in our Dec. 9 statement available on the district website.”

Rumbaugh told The Everett Herald her district had received a copy of the Clover Park report and would review it in depth over the district’s winter break.

Third-party investigators were contracted by both schools to investigate claims that racial slurs were used during the game. The investigations happened separately, though some information was shared between investigators, according to statements by the districts.

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New investigation: Racial slurs ‘most likely’ used at football game