The California Interscholastic Federation issued a penalty for racist heckling by an Oak Ridge High School student during the March 5 CIF NorCal Women’s Soccer Championship between ORHS and Buchanan High School. The Trojans won the title, but the student’s loud and derogatory taunts marred the team’s victory.
the punishments include:
- ORHS is on probation for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year and into the 2023-2024 school year.
- During the probationary period, any postseason women’s college football home game against Buchanan High School will be hosted by Buchanan.
- All school administrators, athletic directors, coaches and students are required to complete an annual fair play workshop that includes a section on racial/cultural sensitivity training.
- School administrators and athletic directors must complete game management training by spring 2022 CIF championships.
- The principals of both schools are encouraged to develop a positive relationship between the school communities.
- Oak Ridge must submit an action plan by August 1 to the CIF which describes how it will comply with punishmentsbut also describe other strategies that he chooses to implement to avoid a repetition of the incident.
Principal Aaron Palm said the school will not appeal the CIF’s decision. “We accept the sanctions,” he said. “We think all of this…is doable.”
Oak Ridge has created a coalition of teachers, students, and parents responsible for educating students about racial/cultural awareness and ensuring that every student feels welcome and safe on the El Dorado campus. Hills, Palm told the Mountain Democrat.
The ORHS Trojans and BHS Bears, each ranked in the top 10 nationally, played nearly flawless football through regulation and extra time before heading to the penalty shootout, tied 2-2, on the pitch. ‘Oakridge.
When the referee signaled Buchanan Bears player Daisy Torres, who is Hispanic, to shoot, someone in the stands for the Trojans barked loudly like a dog before Torres missed the goal post.
When Ciara Wilson, a black player who scored both Bears goals in regulation time, took her penalty, a spectator made monkey noises.
The head umpire immediately huddled with two other officials before calling the Oak Ridge coaching staff, administration and CIF administrator on site.
As they spoke, Oak Ridge goaltender Kate Plachy sprinted 60 yards to console Wilson in midfield.
The game stalled for over three minutes, after which Oak Ridge coaches and administrators told the home crowd to be quiet.
After the game, Oak Ridge officials quickly denounced the incident. The following week, students and staff protested racism on campus. A few students who spoke to Village Life said they had witnessed several incidents of racism and bullying at their school and hoped the administration would do more.
Principal Palm said Village Life school officials listened to those concerns – and then took action. “Whether it was students speaking to us directly, anonymous emails, phone calls from parents, etc., we heard about people’s experiences,” Palm said. “Hearing people’s stories was powerful. Now is the time for us to move from listening to action. We’ve spent a lot of time respecting everyone’s differences at Oak Ridge over the years. But we need to do more.
“We are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that an incident like this never happens again (and) we must also ensure that every student has a great experience every day,” he said. he adds.
The principal also shared that he sent letters of apology to Buchanan’s principal, the school, the community, and the girls’ soccer team. “I also spoke with the family of the affected girl,” Palm said.
The student, who has not been publicly named but was privately identified on March 7, has been punished. “I can share that we identified them and gave them the applicable consequences in the education code,” Palm confirmed. “But I can’t share anything about the discipline they received. As children, they have a lot of protections, and rightly so.
According to Education Code 49073: “The superintendent or designate may limit or deny the release of specific categories of directory information to any public or private nonprofit organization based on his or her determination of interest. superior of the pupils of the district.”