ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two local school districts are investigating incidents of alleged racism at varsity soccer games this weekend.
Parents tell News 8 that players on the Pittsford-Mendon boys and girls varsity soccer teams made racist comments and slurs towards black students from Greece Arcadia this week.
Rumella Cameron’s daughter is a senior on the Greece Arcadia varsity soccer team. She said she wasn’t at her daughter’s game Wednesday at Mendon High School, but afterwards she got a text from her 17-year-old, who was upset.
“This one player had pointed to one of the girls on the field and said, ‘Hey, that’s that n-word right there. And then proceeded to call the girls b-words, and there was also some racial slurs in the crowd as well,” said Cameron, who is also a entrepreneur and candidate for the Greece Town board.
“These girls worked very hard to be there and, you know, you go to the school for an away game and this is how you’re being treated as guests,” Cameron said. “I felt horrible that she even had to experience anything like that.”
Cameron said similar incidents allegedly happened Tuesday night at the boy’s soccer game between the two teams at Mendon.
“They were acting like monkeys and gorillas in trying to mock the the black students and our players on the team,” she said.
Following the game Wednesday, Cameron said she could tell her daughter was upset and she decided to not go to practice Thursday.
“It can impact them in so many levels mentally. It can it can bring up so many insecurities. You make it feel like I’m beneath you … that’s not right. And I’m sure it can definitely impact them with the sports, with their academics, and socially as well,” Cameron said.
Cameron said she has been in contact with the Greece Central School District.
“The athletic director and the superintendent from the Greece Central School District is on top of it and in communication. There’s an investigation going on to see, you know, exactly what happened and then I want to know the consequences these girls are going to face,” she said. “This shouldn’t be happening whatsoever. Racism — there should be zero tolerance for that kind of mess.”
In a statement to News 8, Pittsford Central School District said:
“The Pittsford Central School District is working collaboratively with the Greece Central School District on allegations of racist remarks alleged to have been made during recent athletic games. As with any allegation of this nature, the school district takes it very seriously, and is conducting a thorough investigation.“
The Greece Central School District also released a statement saying:
“We are aware of the allegations regarding recent athletic contests. Our primary goal is to always listen, protect and support our students and community. We have worked hard as a school district to build systems of support for all students and families and we are committed to disrupting and dismantling racism. Our athletic department is working cooperatively with Pittsford to gather information and determine the appropriate next steps.”
These alleged incidents come just days after a video surfaced of a student at Pittsford Sutherland High School holding an air-soft gun and making a racist slur.
On Wednesday, hundreds of students from both Pittsford High Schools walked out of class saying the district needs to do more to address racism and inequality. Cameron said it was good to see students stand up.
“I also am very proud of the students at the schools that stood up and protested against this, to spread awareness and the fact that they did that they must have had enough,” she said.
PCSD Superintendent Michael Pero said on Wednesday that their investigation showed three students were involved in sharing videos with racist content, trying to “one up each other for shock value.”
The videos were created four to eight months ago, but Pero told News 8 a student sent him a video last week.
The district is working with Monroe County Sheriff’s officials and is currently investigating the incident. Pero said “all parties involved will face the highest levels of accountability.”