Complaints of racism in games rare, CIF documents show – Press Enterprise


Suspected racist incidents this fall at Inland Empire football and volleyball matches appear to be extremely rare, according to information provided by the CIF Southern Section.

According to documents released by the Southern Branch of CIF in response to a California Public Records Act request, the only suspected incident reported between the 2017-18 school year and the current school year was an alleged incident in Temecula in August. last.

Valley View High School Eagles cheerleader Sabina Rose, 15, foreground left, applauds at home in Moreno Valley on Thursday, August 26, 2021. A week earlier, the team were said to have been targeted by Racist slurs during a football match against Temecula Valley High School. (File photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise / SCNG)

During two football games in August between Valley View High in Moreno Valley and Temecula Valley High, Valley View students reported being the target of racist slurs, monkey noises and unwanted contact from from Temecula Valley fans. According to the California Department of Education, 13.4% of students at Valley View High are black, compared to 2.7% at Temecula Valley.

Temecula Valley said most of the complaints were unfounded after an investigation, but later said the school would make changes to the way home games are run.

But other incidents in the past five years have not been reported to the CIF’s southern section or have been deemed exempt from disclosure by federation lawyers.

In 2019, Rialto’s Carter High players complained that there had been years of racist taunts directed at them when playing at Yucaipa High.

According to district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri, a malware attack in August 2020 wiped out Rialto Unified records from that period, so it is not clear how the issue was handled.

And on August 31, a volleyball coach and teacher at Vista del Lago High School in Moreno Valley accused students at Tahquitz High School in Hemet of harassing his players for racial purposes, including making “monkey noises.” .

In an email, Moreno Valley Unified spokeswoman Anahi Velasco said the district had not filed a report with the federation in the Tahquitz High case. The Moreno Valley and Hemet school districts worked together to resolve the issue, Velasco said.

“We worked together to investigate the reports,” she wrote. “After a collaborative process between schools and districts, it was determined that some reports were substantiated while others were not.”

The 38 pages of documents released by the CIF Southern Section regarding the allegations against Temecula Valley High during the August 19-20 football games with Valley View include detailed allegations made by Valley cheerleaders and soccer players. View in a complaint written by Valley View manager Karen. Johnson, including:

  • Temecula Valley fans made racist remarks and “monkey noises” at Valley View cheerleaders from the stands
  • A Temecula Valley student touched the hair of a Valley View cheerleader while other students made monkey noises
  • Temecula Valley students at the snack bar used racial slurs on Valley View cheerleaders
  • Temecula Valley students ask Valley View soccer players if they are gang
  • Temecula Valley soccer players kicked and made racist remarks to Valley View players during the game
  • Temecula Valley administrators and staff did not intervene to stop the behavior, and the athletic director said it was typical playing behavior at school.

Temecula Valley Unified investigative documents were included among those released by the federation. The district investigation accuses Johnson of not cooperating and unwilling to work with investigators in Temecula Valley.

The Temecula Valley Unified investigation – which included interviews conducted by Moreno Valley Unified with 24 Valley View students and staff – found no evidence to support most of the complaints, including the most serious. The survey details how Temecula Valley Unified will restructure Temecula Valley High football matches so that home and away teams are separated most of the time.

Plans to keep the two fan groups largely separate were made public in October.

The documents released by the Southern Section of the CIF also include text messages of support apparently sent to Valley View staff. None of the text messages indicate that the sender saw any of the alleged behaviors, other than boos from Temecula Valley fans, who the sender said “mortified” his daughter.

Anthony Noriega, a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens’ Civil Rights and Advocacy Committee, doesn’t think the district inquiries, or the resolution, are satisfactory.

“As far as I’m concerned, they buried him. … Have black cheerleaders been granted accountability and transparency? Hell no, ”he said. “I’m just sick of the whole situation.”

For Noriega, the two alleged incidents in Riverside County are part of a larger trend, which includes the throwing of tortillas against a predominantly Hispanic basketball team near San Diego in June.

“Things are getting really, really ugly over there,” he said.

LULAC has undertaken its own investigation into the Temecula Valley High incident. But it was inconclusive, which Noriega blamed on the district for not giving committee members access to staff and documents.

“I think these school districts cover each other up,” he said. “They are looking for how they can survive without disclosing any other information.”


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