Schenectady, Niskayuna school districts working to curb racism on soccer field

October 11, 2018 06:57 PM

Racism on a local soccer field. It happened this week in a varsity game between the Schenectady and Niskayuna girls' teams. Now the districts are working together to keep it from happening again.

The father of one of the Schenectady players says this needs to be a teaching moment. He says his daughter was hurt, confused -- and he and many others are proud of how the team handled themselves during and after the game.

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Jordyn Thomas is a sophomore at Schenectady High School. It was during a varsity soccer game on Tuesday when Damian Thomas says his daughter was on the receiving end of racially-charged comments.

Schenectady was losing the game against Niskayuna and Thomas says as his daughter played near a group of boys sitting on the sidelines, the young men said things like, "Go back to Africa" and "Black girls can't play soccer."

Rather than get confrontational, the players waited to discuss the incident with parents and coaches until after the game.

Both districts have said they are investigating the incident. Niskayuna's superintendent says the alleged behavior is a "violation of everything that we stand for as a school district."

NewsChannel 13 sat down with the superintendents from both school districts. They are taking this very seriously and say they're working together to come up with ways to expand upon programs and curriculums already in place to help teach about diversity and acceptance.

Niskayuna's superintendent says the investigation is ongoing, but stresses it was a small group of students involved and in general, parents and students from both schools have come out in support of the Schenectady team, saying this behavior will not be tolerated and they want to address the root of the problem -- not just the students who made the comments.


Jacquie Slater

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