Waverly-Shell Rock officials promise “appropriate measures” after racial taunts
WAVERLY, Iowa (KCRG) - A northeast Iowa school district has completed an investigation after reports that its fans shouted racial taunts at a Black player on an opposing school’s baseball team, confirming that the incident took place.
The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District posted about their investigation into the June 27 incident on their Facebook page, in which students for Waterly-Shell Rock High School yelled taunts at Charles City baseball player Jeremiah Chapman. The taunts included “You should have been George Floyd,” “go back to the fields,” and calling him Collin in reference to former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick.
The district said that they would be taking “appropriate measures” against those involved in the incident, but did not specify what those actions may involve. However, they also said that federal and state laws prevented them from releasing specific findings since students are involved.
“Heckling and taunting of any kind is not tolerated behavior for any spectators at our games, especially where this behavior is directed at a person or group based on race, color, or any other personal characteristic,” the district wrote, in the statement.
Chapman told television station KCCI that the remark that referenced George Floyd impacted him the most.
“When they said that I thought, like, they wanted me dead. That’s why I got hurt by it. I wasn’t thinking about the incidents, I was thinking they want me dead,” Chapman said to KCCI.
School leaders at Charles City condemned the comments and said they want to let all students know that they are welcome. Charles City Community School District Superintendent Mike Fisher said players have come forward in the past but say they didn’t realize until now the importance of going public when comments like these are made.
“When we don’t put it out there we are subconsciously communicating to our kids that we don’t care or sweep it under the rug,” Fisher said. “All of our training tells us not to air our dirty laundry but it’s not about that. It’s about showing our kids that we have their back and we acknowledge that this is a problem.”
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