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WEST ELLICOTT – A mother visiting Southwestern Central School for a sporting event this week says she is disturbed after a group of spectators made racially derogatory comments towards her, and her daughter.
Deana Stevenson visited the high school on Monday evening for her daughter Maddy’s Orchard Park Varsity Basketball Game against the Southwestern Trojans.
Stevenson tells WNY News Now that she was shocked when a group of onlookers began chanting like monkey when her daughter attempt to score a free throw shot.
“While she was at the foul line, I heard it and then after the game I realized by daughter heard it as well, they were making these animal sounds,” explained Stevenson. “At the time I wasn’t quite sure what kind of animal, it sounded like they were making gorilla or monkey sounds.”
She says the group only made the noises when her daughter would go to make shots.
“She (her daughter) pointed out a young man, and she said, he’s the one who said let’s get louder with the monkey calls,” continued Stevenson.
To make matters worse, the educator and former principal says she was called the N-word by what appeared to be a parent at the game.
“That’s unacceptable behavior, people have said to me, ‘oh, that happens, that’s what fans do,’ they may, but not in a K-12 setting,” said Stevenson.
After letting it simmer for the night, Stevenson took to social media to share her experience with hundreds of people so far responding. She also contacted the school.
“I woke up in the morning expecting a response, call me crazy, when you get an email from a parent from another district from an incident that happened in your school, I would just take it seriously and I didn’t hear anything, so I contacted the Superintendent of Orchard Park to let him know,” explained Stevenson. “I needed to, for the very least, share the incident and stop the silence.”
In a statement, the Southwestern District says a full investigation is currently underway, and that, the school committed to equity and acceptance of all students. The district says if this type of conduct occurred, officials will take swift action to address it.
Wow what a shame. And no one did anything the whole time. So that’s means staff did nothing. Parents said nothing. When my son goes there he won’t be one to join in the racism. It’s 2021 grow up