Two Kansas high schools investigate offensive chants at game

Dec 6, 2022, 3:38 PM | Updated: 3:51 pm

Two Kansas high schools are investigating after students at one school reportedly yelled racist and offensive taunts at the other school’s basketball team.

Topeka High School’s team was subjected to “racial slurs, threats and disgusting taunts,” during a game on Saturday with Valley Center High School, Coach Geo Lyons said in a Change.org petition. He also said Valley Center students used a Black baby doll to taunt his team during the game.

Lyons has started a petition asking that Valley Center High School fans be removed from sporting events.

Lyons did not return a message from The Associated Press on Tuesday. But he told KSN-TV that his son was shooting a free throw when the Valley Center student section chanted an expletive. He also alleged that racial epithets were used and his team was told they were going to be hanged.

“I had a down locker room, I’m talking about tears were flowing in that locker room,” Lyons said.

Valley Center officials issued an apology Monday to Topeka High School for “inappropriate language and behavior” by students during the game.

The district said in a statement that Topeka and Valley Center officials spent much of the weekend studying videos and interviewing people in attendance. As of Tuesday, the officials had not found evidence of specifically racist taunts but Valley Center acknowledged that students acted inappropriately.

It said students who chanted the expletive at the Topeka student were immediately removed and Valley Center officials worked to prevent any other negative interactions when the game ended.

The Black baby doll was part of a class assignment that requires students to “parent” the baby for a few days, the district said. It was not brought to the game intentionally to taunt Topeka High School but “without context, seeing the baby and images of the ‘baby’ caused hurt and concern to many, and for that we are very sorry,” the statement said.

Valley Center Superintendent Cory Gibson had a “fruitful” conversation about the incident with representatives of the NAACP on Tuesday, spokeswoman Amy Pavlacka said. Gibson and Valley Center High School Principal Bruce Lolling also visited with patrons from both cities to discuss the situation.

“As a district, we sent a letter to all VCHS families and students explaining there would be follow-up consequences for those students involved, and that we, as a community, should learn and grow from this experience,” the statement said.

Topeka schools Superintendent Tiffany Anderson said in a letter to district patrons that the incident has been reported to the Kansas State High School Activities Association.

She said the Topeka district appreciated Valley Center’s apology but they hope the district will take appropriate steps to address what occurred with those involved.

“I am so grateful for our coaches, principal (Rebecca) Morrisey and the mighty Trojans at Topeka High who modeled the conduct we expect from our students and we hope that it sets the example of what excellence looks like for others to learn from moving forward,” Anderson wrote.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A Leopard 1 tank drives in Storkau, Germany, on May 19, 2000. Ukraine may be able to add old...
Associated Press

Ukraine may also get old Leopard 1 tanks from German stocks

BERLIN (AP) — Ukraine could add old Leopard 1 battle tanks from German defense industry stocks to deliveries of modern tanks that Berlin and other governments pledged last week to counter Russian forces in the war. German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit confirmed Friday that “export authorization has been granted” but declined to give numbers or […]
7 hours ago
FILE - President Barack Obama, left, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the New START treat...
Associated Press

NATO urges Russia to respect nuclear pact with the US

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO called Friday on Russia to respect the only treaty it has with the United States aimed at keeping a lid on nuclear weapons expansion and urged Moscow to allow on-the-ground inspections of military sites to resume. The so-called New START Treaty was signed by Russia and the U.S. in 2010. It […]
7 hours ago
Associated Press

Reports: 8 migrants’ bodies recovered by Italian coast guard

MILAN (AP) — The bodies of eight migrants have been recovered by Italy’s coast guard during an operation overnight that also rescued 42 survivors in the central Mediterranean off the island of Lampedusa, Italian news agency ANSA reported Friday. The coast guard in Rome and in Lampedusa declined to immediately confirm details of the rescue, […]
7 hours ago
A Ukrainian serviceman controls a drone during a demonstration close to the border with Belarus, Uk...
Associated Press

Along Ukraine-Belarus border, a war of nerves — and drones

BELARUS BORDER, Ukraine (AP) — The reconnaissance drones fly several times a day from Ukrainian positions deep inside the thick forest that marches across the border into Belarus, a close Russian ally, scouring sky and land for signs of trouble on the other side. Ukrainian units are monitoring the 1,000-kilometer (650-mile) frontier of marsh and […]
7 hours ago
FILE - A vender waits for customers at a vegetable market place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, June...
Associated Press

China confirms offer to Sri Lanka of debt moratorium

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government on Friday confirmed it is offering Sri Lanka a two-year moratorium on loan repayments as the Indian Ocean island nation struggles to restructure $51 billion in foreign debt that pushed it into a financial crisis. China lent to Sri Lanka as part of Beijing’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to […]
7 hours ago
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, file photo, Iias Kasidiaris, former Golden Dawn lawmaker w...
Associated Press

Jailed leader of Greek far-right party faces election ban

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s government is seeking to ban a far-right political party led by a jailed former lawmaker from participating in a general election later this year, with a legislative initiative that has gained cross-party support. Ilias Kasidiaris, 42, founded the Greek National Party two years ago. He is currently serving a sentence […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Two Kansas high schools investigate offensive chants at game