A video allegedly depicting some students chanting a racial slur during a high school basketball game on Friday prompted the Brighton (N.Y.) and Pittsford school districts to hold a joint press conference Monday afternoon.
The video was shot during a varsity basketball game between Pittsford Sutherland and Brighton High School on Friday. It appeared to show some students chanting towards a Brighton basketball player during the game, according to school officials.
The video was posted to YouTube and was about 17 seconds long. It showed students chanting "We want Slurpees," which could be interpreted as a stereotype of Indian-Americans owning convenience stores. It has since been removed from public viewing.
"The second it occurred, a supervisor stepped in and removed the person responsible for starting the chant," said Pittsford Superintendent Mike Pero during the press conference.
Once that student was removed, the chanting stopped, Pero said.
Pero, along with Brighton schools Superintendent Kevin McGowan, became aware of the situation on Saturday, they said.
The names of those involved in the incident or the specifics of the incident were not released by school officials, but Pero said the involved student was the leader of Pittsford's Super Fan section, which is a leadership role at the school.
In a joint statement, Pero and McGowan said:
"We were very disappointed to learn of this incident. We have been working with our colleagues in both districts throughout the weekend to address intolerant and unacceptable fan behavior. That work continues today. The students involved took full responsibility for their behavior, and attempts are being made to right this wrong between the students and to address the long- term learning that can arise from the disappointing behaviors of a few."
McGowan stated that he hoped the students can use the incident as a learning experience.
Victoria Freile also writes for the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle.