Society

School Allegedly Offended By Red, White And Blue

| by Jordan Smith

Allegations have been made on social media that a group of students supporting their high school basketball team offended their opponents by wearing red, white and blue to the game.

Supporters of the Valley High School team wore U.S.A.-themed apparel to their team's game against North High School in Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported.

Valley High's normal school colors are black and orange.

Reports say the population of North High School's community is more diverse, including some refugee families.

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"Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think what the hell are these kids thinking," Morgan Wheat, an assistant coach at North High, told WHO.

But others were less convinced that the motives were hostile.

"I don't want to judge those young people not knowing their motives," North High head coach Chad Ryan told the Des Moines Register. "What I will say is we're proud of our diversity at North High School -- not only on our basketball team, but our population."

"It's been good for us, as a school," added Ryan. "They learn from each other about people with different cultures and backgrounds and we try to use it as an educational piece."

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WHO reported that fans of Valley High have worn the colors of the American flag in the past, such as at a football game last fall against their rivals, Dowling Catholic.

Ryan explained that he had seen nothing untoward during the match-up.

"I get so into the game I block that stuff out," he told the Register.

However, he noted that if racist comments or insults had been made, "that's obviously not good."

Valley High emerged victorious in the game.

The Valley High's student council delivered a letter of apology to North High the day after the game.

"It has been brought to our attention that the decision by the Valley High School student section to wear U.S.A apparel at our game last night was offensive to members of your community and fan base," the letter read. "We are deeply sorry if we have offended anyone in any way. We have traditionally dressed in such a fashion for great games such as the one last night. Everyone here at Valley has immense respect, not only for your team and players but for your community as a whole."

Iowa State University conducted an audit in 2016 which alleged that a culture of "deep racial disparities" existed at Valley High. The university noted that this created an inequitable and toxic environment at the school.

Sources: Des Moines Register, WHO / Photo credit: Jguard18/Wikimedia Commons

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