Students at a predominantly white high school near Pittsburgh are being accused of racism after dressing as bananas at a basketball game against a mostly black school. Other students allegedly hurled racial slurs at the black players
It happened at a game at Brentwood High School on Friday. Two students dressed as bananas were in the stands, and when they ran past the Monessen High School fan section and allegedly taunted them, they were kicked out of the game for “causing agitation and disruption,” according to the Brentwood superintendent. A third student was also removed.
However, the superintendent said there was no racist intent.
“The high school students are emulating college students they have seen on television who wear costumes during the collegiate contests,” Ronald Dufalla said in email to The Associated Press. “No high school team, Monessen or otherwise, or their fans are being singled out. This is just something the students do.”
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But Monessen parents say they heard slurs like "monkeys" and "cotton pickers" yelled at their children, and the Monessen superintendent said she is not satisfied the Dufalla's explanation.
"Basically, I feel he sugar-coated the situation,” Linda Marcolini told the Independent. “I'm not happy with that, and I feel like I've not been told the whole story or the truth.”
Marcolini said she plans to report the incident to the organization that oversees high school sports in the region.