Kansas school’s students disciplined for offensive behavior

Dec 9, 2022, 1:02 AM | Updated: 3:07 pm

Several students at a Kansas high school have been disciplined for their behavior during a high school basketball game after a coach accused them of making offensive chants toward his team.

Topeka High School Coach Geo Lyons said his team was subjected to “racial slurs, threats and disgusting taunts” by students from Valley Center High School at a game on Dec. 3. He also said Valley Center students taunted his team with a naked Black baby doll.

The principals of the two schools said in a joint statement Friday that a review of game footage and interviews with game attendees resulted in “several” students being disciplined but federal law prevents them from saying how many students or the type of discipline.

Amy Pavlacka, a spokeswoman for Valley Center, said the schools’ joint investigation did not find any racist taunts from the student section.

“Any racial words that were used were isolated and made by individuals,” she said in an email.

The principals’ statement also said some information circulated after the game was factual but “there have been numerous reports that are exaggerated and/or inaccurate.”

“This has led to responses from both communities that have become inflamed and disappointing,” the statement said. “This is not appropriate, does not provide for a productive environment where true change can occur, and is currently being addressed by the schools and communities appropriately.”

The controversy received widespread publicity on Tuesday. The next day, Valley Center closed its schools, saying the district had received a deluge of online threats. Classes resumed on Thursday with an increased law enforcement presence.

Valley Center officials apologized after the game for the behavior of some in its student section and Friday’s statement repeated that apology.

“Valley Center and Topeka High Schools are committed to work together to repair the harm that has been done, and to take actions both separately and together that will lead to positive and productive change with regards to addressing sportsmanship and racism,” the statement said.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Florida center Jason Jitoboh (33) runs up court after making a shot against Alabama during the firs...
Associated Press

Jitoboh’s recovery coming into focus year after eye injury

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jason Jitoboh won’t step foot onto a basketball court without his glasses. And he doesn’t even need them to see. The darkened lenses merely provide extra protection for what eyesight Jitoboh has remaining. Florida’s 6-foot-11 center took a finger to his left eye at Tennessee last January and spent the better […]
1 day ago
FILE - Former heavyweight boxing world champion Wladimir Klitschko leaves after a meeting with Germ...
Associated Press

Boxer Klitschko joins fight against Olympic path for Russia

GENEVA (AP) — Olympic gold medalist Wladimir Klitschko has joined Ukraine’s fight against IOC plans to let some Russians compete at the 2024 Paris Summer Games. The former heavyweight champion suggested in a video message published Monday that sports leaders will be accomplices to the war if athletes from Russia and its military ally Belarus […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

UK police chiefs apologize to Hillsborough disaster families

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s police chiefs promised a “cultural change” on Tuesday as they apologized to families of the victims in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, the U.K.’s worst sports disaster which saw 97 people killed during a crush of soccer fans at an overcrowded stadium. “For what happened, as a senior policing leader, I profoundly […]
1 day ago
FILE - Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, left, talks to his brother, Philadelphia Eagles c...
Associated Press

Brother vs. brother: Kelces prepare for Super Bowl showdown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Donna Kelce is going to have to pull out that now-familiar custom jersey — the one with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s front stitched to Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce’s back — one more time this season. At least this time, she’ll get to see her boys in […]
1 day ago
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks back to the sidelines during the second half of...
Associated Press

Analysis: NFL wasn’t at its best in conference championships

The NFL didn’t put on its Sunday best for the conference championships. Before the San Francisco 49ers ran out of luck and quarterbacks, they were burned by a fourth-down catch by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Devonta Smith that wasn’t even a catch. Although Kyle Shanahan could have thrown a challenge flag, the league’s replay assist […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after a play duining the second half of an NBA basketball ga...
Associated Press

Analysis: All-Star reserve voting will lead to some snubbing

Brace yourself. There’s going to be some angry people in the NBA on Thursday night. With good reason. The votes from the coaches are now in, and on Thursday, the NBA will reveal the 14 players — seven from the Eastern Conference, seven more from the Western Conference — who got picked to be reserves […]
1 day ago
Kansas school’s students disciplined for offensive behavior