- Bizarre Turn of Events in Little Four Basketball League Involving Allegations of Possible Racist Behavior
Press release from the Ferndale Unified School District:
At Thursday night’s girls’ basketball game between Ferndale High and Hoopa High, student fans were accused of racist behavior. The next day, the Ferndale High boys’ varsity basketball team forfeited their game against Hoopa High. As a result, leaders at Ferndale Unified School District (FUSD) hope to work with leaders from Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District to identify and address any racism among their students.
FUSD Superintendent and Ferndale High School Principal Beth Anderson said, “Racism is unacceptable by anyone, anywhere, anytime. The students who acted inappropriately Thursday evening are embarrassed and apologetic, as they should be. They’ve been disciplined. What I’m hoping we can do now is use this opportunity to teach all students how to recognize and respond to racism to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future.”
Anderson emphasized that racist behavior is not the norm in Ferndale, not in the schools and not in the community, but that those who perpetuate fear and hate can sometimes influence others.
She said, “After Thursday’s event, I got in touch with Hoopa High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Craig Cornelson. We took precautions to safeguard students, but we did not believe the students were at risk or we would have cancelled the game. Unfortunately, not all the parents of varsity players had the same confidence and they kept their sons home, so the team had to forfeit.”
On the Redheaded Blackbelt blog, one parent posted, “As a parent of a Ferndale JV player, I want to say that we traveled to Hoopa last night and had a great experience. The Hoopa team, coach, and fans all treated us with respect and we did the same. On the court, before the game, the starting ten boys all shook hands. When I heard about the incident that occurred Thursday night, it made my blood boil. That behavior is not representative of all from Ferndale and definitely not representative of this family.”
In the meantime, Anderson and KTJUSD Superintendent John Ray are planning activities to improve relations between the two schools, and they are working with elected officials to build bridges in the broader communities. County Supervisor Rex Bohn has reached out to tribal leaders to seek their recommendations and hopes they can all work together to make things better.