Thursday, October 28

California School Board Passes Anti-Racism Resolution Following Basketball Game Tortilla Toss Incident

(CNN) — A school board in Southern California unanimously passed a resolution Thursday denouncing racism and racial profiling after community members threw tortillas at a predominantly Latino high school basketball team.

“I think this is a good start,” said Escondido Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Annie Staffieri, who proposed the anti-racism resolution earlier this week. “It is a step, but it is only the beginning.”

The resolution, which passed a 5-0 vote by the school board, affirms the district’s support for the fairness, safety and well-being of all students. The resolution also commits to fighting racism in all its forms to dismantle practices that limit opportunities for students to receive a safe, high-quality education.

On June 19, the predominantly Latino team from Orange Glen High School lost a championship basketball game to the mostly white Coronado High School team in overtime. According to witnesses and video, some members of the Coronado audience threw tortillas at the opposing team’s athletes after several heated disputes on the basketball court.

The Escondido School Board, which runs Orange Glen High School, condemned the incident as racist and urged the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) to revoke the Coronado High regional basketball championship, alleging that some of opposing players and coaches participated in the events that occurred. A CIF investigation of the incident is currently underway.

“The CIF is in the process of completing our review and, unless circumstances indicate otherwise, we anticipate issuing the ruling by the CIF CEO within the next week,” a CIF spokesperson told CNN.

The Coronado school board voted unanimously to fire basketball head coach JD Laaperi Tuesday night, according to Kami McElligott, executive assistant superintendent and the district board.

The board had no further comment on the reasoning behind Laaperi’s firing, but the decision was made during a special meeting called to address the incident on Saturday.

Laaperi tweeted on Saturday that he did not tolerate the actions of the person who brought the tortillas to the game and distributed them, saying it was “unacceptable and racist in nature.”

CNN has reached out to Laaperi for comment on the board’s decision.

The Coronado Police Department said officers were called in Saturday to help school personnel clear the gym and remove spectators from the game.

When officers arrived, they were told they had thrown tortillas at the opposing team, and then police officers identified a man they believed had brought the tortillas to the game, authorities said.

The Coronado Unified School District (CUSD), Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD), Coronado police and the California Interscholastic Federation are conducting separate investigations into the incident.

CNN’s Nicole Chavez, Cheri Mossburg, and Krecyte Villarreal contributed to this report.

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