The head of a southeast Missouri school district where Battle High School players were reportedly subjected to racist treatment said the school can find no evidence of such behavior by its players and fans.
Jackson R-2 School District Superintendent John Link said the district has looked at video and spoken with parents, referees and police officers about alleged racist treatment of the Battle High School football team during a football game Friday.
Two Battle parents contacted ABC 17 News over the weekend saying Battle High School players, cheerleaders and fans endured a “hostile environment” Friday night in Jackson. Both parents said players from Jackson High School were using racial slurs against Battle football players and cheerleaders. They also said some Jackson fans snuck into the visiting Spartans’ locker room and trashed it.
One parent alleged Jackson players pulled a cheerleader’s hair and slapped another cheerleader on the buttocks.
Link said the district has been looking into the incident for four days and will continue the inquiry.
Columbia Public Schools’ spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said the two districts have been in contact over the incident.
“We are continuing conversations and gathering as much first-hand information as possible to resolve the matter and determine what actually occurred,” Baumstark said. “Much of what is on social media and being reported is second or third-hand information from individuals who were either not at the game on Friday or heard someone say they heard someone else say something.”
Jason West with the Missouri State High School Activities Association said everyone involved is still in the early stages of nailing down what happened Friday. West said MSHSAA reminded each of the schools of their obligations when hosting athletic contests.
Check back or watch ABC 17 News at 6 for more on this developing story.