Students use “Trump” as racial slur, chant it at basketball games

I am not sure whether to be impressed teenagers are paying any attention to national politics or depressed over the decline of civility in sports.

In recent athletic contests in two states, students taunted opponents from schools with higher Latino-American enrollment either by chanting “Trump, Trump” or holding up a poster of the Republican presidential candidate and yelling “Build the wall.”

 

In this Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 photo, the Andrean High School student section holds up a picture of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump during their school's basketball game against Bishop Noll Institute in Merrillville, Ind. The Catholic bishop in northern Indiana denounced the students who waved the picture of Trump and shouted "build a wall" at their opponents, a heavily Hispanic school in nearby Hammond. (Jonathan Miano/The Times via AP) CHICAGO LOCALS OUT; GARY OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

On Friday, Andrean High School students held up a picture of Donald Trump during a basketball game against Bishop Noll in Merrillville, Ind., and shouted “build a wall” at their opponents, a heavily Hispanic school. (Jonathan Miano/The Times via AP)

The first incident occurred in Indiana and involved a basketball game between two Catholic schools, Bishop Noll and Andrean. (As a graduate of a Catholic high school, Mother Seton Regional, Sister Margaret Irene or Sister Regina would have silenced this stuff with a single glance. And their disapproving glance would have turned you to stone.)

According to the Times of Northwest Indiana:

A student from Andrean brought a large photo of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s head to the game. During the game, some Andrean students began chanting to the Bishop Noll students across the gym “Build a wall,” which was followed by the Noll students chanting “You’re a racist.”

In a statement from the Diocese of Gary, Bishop Donald J. Hying  said:

“The incident continues to be under investigation by school officials and is being taken very seriously. Any actions or words that can be perceived as racist or derogatory to others are antithetical to the Christian faith and will not be tolerated in any of our institutions. It was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind that such actions would be happening at a gathering of two of our Catholic high schools. This is not what we teach our students. Jesus is at the center of all we do and his message was and is one of inclusion and respect for all people. I take this incident to heart and again state that it is not to be tolerated, even as a childish prank.”

The second incident occurred in Des Moines, Iowa, where students from Dallas Center-Grimes High chanted “Trump! Trump!” after a boys’ basketball game. Students from the mostly white school were apparently unhappy to lose to Perry High School, which has greater student diversity.

According to the Des Moines Register:

No Perry varsity players are Latino, the team’s coach, Ned Menke, said, but 48 percent of the student body population is a minority, according to Perry school leaders.

{Dallas Center-Grimes High Activities director Steve} Watson said the Trump chants came from 10 to 15 individuals of the 100- to 120-member student section. He estimated the chant was yelled “four or five times.”

“When they saw me come down the bleachers, they knew it was wrong,” Watson said. “As an administrator you’d like to think you wouldn’t even have to tell them to stop, or they wouldn’t even start it.”

Watson declined to discuss any disciplinary measures taken against the students participating in the chant, citing student privacy. “Whenever anything turns personal or offensive, it’s out of line, and this is definitely out of line,” Watson said. “Our kids know that. They knew it before. They chose to do it.”

In a letter to the Perry High School Chief, the student newspaper, student Kevin Lopez wrote that yelling “Trump” as a racial insult was becoming common, citing earlier instances where the Perry team experienced it. This time, apparently, the taunting also spread to social media.

Dear Editor,

This is a letter for the community of Perry. It is no secret that our great town is incredibly diverse, the student body and staff at Perry High School see this as an advantage and we come together as a town and celebrate our diversity. But, recently there has been a new chanting trend uprising at high school basketball games directed at us.

Perry is competitive and we are known for being loud! We love a student section that can interact with us and make the atmosphere full of energy and keep the ambiance fun. We in the student body and community members who cheer on the Perry basketball team have been exposed to this new derogatory chant, “Trump.”

It is a chant said to intimidate and discriminate our Latino/Hispanic students and it is a chant that is fueled by racism.

Monday night at the boys district game against DC-G in Adel, was the fourth instance this chant was heard. Monday night however was the first time we were exposed to such racism on social media, just to show how big of an issue this is actually becoming. We at Perry High School acknowledge and are aware of the fact that people are entitled to their own political views and that they are to be respected, but when a name is chanted in a racial manner and used to intimidate us is when the line is drawn.

Perry has been a racial target for many towns for a long time now, and now I am tackling this problem. I urge that you stay alert to chants like “Trump” or “Mini-Mexico” and that you please take action. We know racism is alive and well, but we refuse to undergo discrimination at Iowa high school athletic events.

I am happy students from Dallas Center-Grimes and Perry high schools have met to address the incident. You can read about the meeting here.

Here is a quote from that account reflective of how these incivilities happen:

Dallas Center-Grimes student body co-president Austin Kloewer was in the stands Monday night. “There’s that feeling inside that this is wrong, but at the same time you don’t think of the big context, the feelings of the other side,” said Kloewer.

 

Reader Comments 0

30 comments
BSull106
BSull106

@reluctantzealot if a bully hit you in the eye w a bible after hearing "an eye for an eye" in church.....would you blame Jesus?

BSull106
BSull106

@reluctantzealot I didn't vote for Trump. But he isn't to blame for bullys. The parents/school/coach carry 100% of the blame for that BS.

reluctantzealot
reluctantzealot

@BSull106 Nope...he's inspiring hate and bullying. It's getting worse. Talk to your kid about it.

reluctantzealot
reluctantzealot

@JonFeere You mean they were acting like Trump. It's going on at schools across the country...not just a small group in one place.

reluctantzealot
reluctantzealot

@BSull106 See I have... I show children these images and explain to them that a very bad man inspires hate and they must rise above it.

BSull106
BSull106

@reluctantzealot Obama deports more people than any President in history. He's killed many civilians w drone strikes. Do you show his pic?

BSull106
BSull106

@reluctantzealot yes, I denounce bullying. Trump is a bully....so is Obama. They don't parent my kids. My 14yo could care less about Trump

DrProudBlackMan
DrProudBlackMan

Nothing new; Trump is a crass and boorish person who appeals to the bigoted  saltines that are butt hurt because America elected AND reelected a Black President. On a lighter note the rethuglican party is going to wind up like the Whig party.

GB101
GB101

(As a graduate of a Catholic high school, Mother Seton Regional, Sister Margaret Irene or Sister Regina would have silenced this stuff with a single glance.


Someone should fix the dangling modifier.


How about this?


 "As a graduate of a Catholic high school, Mother Seton Regional, I AM CERTAIN THAT Sister Margaret Irene or Sister Regina would have silenced this stuff with a single glance."

Another comment
Another comment

So what are they going to do when the church parking lot is full of Trump bumper stickers this fall. Especially between the 12:00 white mass and the 1:00 Spanish Mass clash to get in and out of the deck on Peachtree Road.

There are a lot of folks that are sick of seeing annual appeals from the church and diocese both that claim membership numbers of almost 50/50 white/Hispanic. Then layout the real truth that the giving is 95% from the white families aka English masses and only 5% from the Spanish masses. Then white families no longer get any financial aide for the local catholic school or St. Puis. A more diverse broshure is wanted. Even though we all know those families at Marist the diversity ones have parents working for fortune 50's making more than several times the average white family.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

Reminds of when my younger son was in high school about 10 years ago - his school, in Forsyth County, GA, where most of the players are white, played St. Pius HS, a local Catholic, private school in DeKalb County that were ALSO mostly white.  One of Forsyth County students dressed up as the Pope - one of the PARENTS from St. Pius took exception to this and really complained, especially after her team lost.  It was really funny, though that parent tried to take some of the fun out of the moment.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Well, we know what these kids hear around the dinner table, don't we?


So, so sad.  I hope the schools conduct reasonable, thorough investigations and then punish those who did this.  And I hope the adults in the school examine the extracurriculum their students have learned.

atlantatweeps
atlantatweeps

@ajc this about schools in Indiana not Georgia .... your anti-Trump bias is showing

HILUX
HILUX

@MaureenDowney @atlantatweeps @ajc 

No, try again. Your Primary Day headline is a ludicrously obvious attempt to smear Donald Trump.

Which will no doubt be Hillary's fall strategy.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@atlantatweeps @ajc I took this as a story about being about children regardless of where it is based.  The problem is nation wide and it rears it's ugly head not only in Indiana but look no further than what happened in Valdosta! It has nothing to do with Trump bias but everything to do with this man continuing to preach and teach hate. 

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@atlantatweeps @ajc If you read this blog, you will know I often write about things happening outside Georgia. The prior blog this morning is about two other states closing schools for tornado forecasts. I have written about bullying in cases all over the country. 


Any that's clear in the blog title where it says:

Your source to discuss and learn about education in Georgia and the nation and share opinions and news

HILUX
HILUX

Should we likewise attribute disruptions by #BlackLivesMatter activists to Hillary Clinton?

Even when they too occur outside Georgia?

FredJohnsson
FredJohnsson

@HILUX If they shout the name "Hillary", then we would attribute that to Hillary.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@HILUX 

@HILUX  Why do you people like you and your ilk always feel the need to digress and bring up a different topic when it is so evident that this story is about how these teenagers are learning hate and how to push it off on a population! Gosh you  people always try to find a way to give balance when there is none! Just stop it!