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Waverly-Shell Rock Schools acknowledge “inappropriate, bigoted” comments made at baseball game, say source is unknown

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Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District Facebook Page

UPDATE: The Charles City Community School District has provided KWWL with a letter sent out to parents and students that details the bigoted comments made toward an African American player.

You can read the full letter from the district below:

Dear Charles City Family,

Our mission and why we exist is simple; regardless of who you are or what your story is, you can learn and be loved here. This speaks to our passion and love of ensuring ALL students are welcome, can learn, and feel unconditional love. It especially speaks to our passion and commitment to justice, fighting oppression, and creating compassionate competent problem solvers that are willing to lean into the challenge of creating a better world. A better world without bigotry.

During a recent away athletic contest one of our African-Amercian players endured several bigoted comments yelled from the crowd. This included, “Get back to the fields!” and “You’re only here because of George Floyd.” Sadly, this has been a pattern of behavior that our students of color have had to endure in many different places and contexts and is part of their daily experience.

This is unacceptable. As a place where we do what is best for all kids, We feel compelled to speak out and bring light to the situations that routinely happen to our kids. Our students must know we have their backs regardless of the circumstances and that we are fighting shoulder to shoulder with them to end oppression and to create the world that we know is possible. Our state and nation needs to know that our thoughts, words, and actions matter. We must do better. We must be better.

Our Charles City school and community is blessed to have the diversity of people we have. It is what makes Charles City such a wonderful and beautiful place. We will never let people tear us down with their words and actions. We are strong because of the adversity we endure and how we become better from it. Our kids in Charles City are the future that will shape and transform this world for the better.

Charles City is a place where regardless of who you are or what your story is, you can learn and be loved here. This is why we exist and our promise to our kids and community.

All the best,

Charles City Community Schools Senior Leadership Team Marcia DeVore
Tom Harskamp
Bryan Jurrens
Kara Shannon
Joe Taylor
Larry Wolfe
Campus Principals

Justin DeVore
Todd Forsyth
April Hanson
Jerry Mitchell
Terri O’Brien
District Directors

Mike Fisher, Superintendent

Charles City Community Schools

UPDATE: KWWL reached out to Waverly-Shell Rock Superintendent, Ed Klamfoth, who said further investigations into the circumstances surrounding the game reveal district leaders can't say for certain any racist comments came from any Waverly-Shell Rock students.

Klamfoth said the Charles City student, who stated he heard the comments, was unable to identify the person responsible, so the source is unknown.

You can read Klamfoth's full response below:

We are still in the process of trying to determine all of the details surrounding the Charles City baseball game incident. And while that investigation continues, we wish to clarify something immediately.

We were at first led to believe that the comments made were by one of our students. However, further investigations into the circumstances surrounding the game reveal that we cannot say for certain that any racist comments came from any of our students. The Charles City student who stated he heard those comments was unable to identify the person responsible, so we do not know the source. We will continue to investigate the matter.

We now know it was inaccurate to definitively state in the original email that one of our students made the comments, and we apologize for that. We're sometimes forced to offer comment sooner than we would otherwise like, and this is one example.

We hope to offer some action steps at some point in the future.

ORIGINAL STORY: (KWWL) - Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District has responded after a student made "inappropriate, bigoted" comments towards a Charles City player.

District leaders say it happened at a recent baseball game.

In a statement posted to the Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District Facebook page, the administration said the behavior is unacceptable.

"We make no excuses, because there are none. We do, however, wish to make a sincere apology to the Charles City school district and community and, in particular, the young man towards whom these comments were directed.

We can’t undo what’s been done. But we are using this as a learning experience for the responsible party and, we hope, for many others in our schools and communities."

Leslie Stone

News Content Producer

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