Tension high after racially insensitive remarks shouted at NJ high school basketball game

Anthony Johnson Image
Friday, February 3, 2017
Tension rises between schools after racially insensitive remarks
Anthony Johnson has the story.

DOVER, New Jersey (WABC) -- A group of high school students in New Jersey apparently yelled racially insensitive remarks to players on the opposing team -- made up of mostly black and Hispanic players - and it was all captured on camera.

The video allegedly shows a vocal group of Jefferson High School students yelling the statements during the January 27 game against Dover. The game was hosted in Jefferson Township.

The situation has caused tension to rise between the two schools.

Both school districts said they're investigating the incident.

Dover School Superintendent Bob Becker issued a statement describing some of what unfolded:

"I personally feel a sense of anger and frustration that our students were subjected to speech which was discriminatory and hateful in nature. This cannot be tolerated and will not stand. By means of example, when one of our African American students attempted to make foul shots, a small group of the home team fans chanted "Ashy knees". When the Dover students were warming up, chants of "Build the Wall" resounded from another small, yet vocal group of fans. A variety of racial slurs were also expressed during the game."

Jefferson Superintendent Patrick Tierney said his district is conducting an investigation and those responsible will be disciplined accordingly:

"We will look to use this unfortunate situation as a "teachable" moment for our students and work to correct their behaviors with the sincere intent that these actions do not take place again. In closing, I implore you to be your child's role model in cautioning them to always reflect prior to writing an email and or posting on social media."

NJSIAA, the state agency overseeing high school sports, has ordered the schools to work out a resolution but is moving forward saying:

"Reports on the matter have been submitted by both schools, and the association has shared these with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights in the Attorney Generals Office."