Opposing players hurled racial epithets at a middle school basketball team, according to the NJ district.
During a game in Barnegat on Wednesday afternoon, at least two Lakewood Middle School girls basketball players were subjected to racial slurs and taunts about their socioeconomic status from opposing players, according to the Lakewood board of education’s attorney.
According to Michael Inzelbuch, an attorney for the Lakewood school district, who issued a statement on the incident Thursday morning, one player was called a “Black b—” during the third quarter of the game at Russell O Brackman Middle School, and another was told she was “homeless” on multiple occasions because she wasn’t wearing basketball sneakers.
In a phone interview, Inzelbuch said, “It’s reprehensible.”
“It’s made worse by the fact that it was players rather than fans.”
As repulsive as (the racial remark is), the other remark bothers me just as much because many of these kids can’t afford certain things.”
The comments should have been brought to the attention of the referees and coaches during the game “so they could be addressed immediately,” according to Barnegat Superintendent Brian Latwis, not by Lakewood issuing a statement to the media first.
Barnegat is about a 40-minute drive north of Atlantic City.
In an emailed statement, Latwis said, “We take these allegations very seriously and have a detailed harassment, intimidation, and bullying policy in place.”
“We are investigating the validity of these allegations because this type of alleged behavior is not tolerated.”
Rather than being informed about the filing of incident reports through the media, we would have preferred to address this matter directly and more quickly.”
The Barnegat coach and officials had been informed about the comments, according to Inzelbuch.
The district intends to purchase basketball sneakers for the ten girls on the team who do not have proper footwear, according to the attorney.
According to the attorney, there are 19 players on the roster.
According to Inzelbuch, about 97 percent of Lakewood students are not white, and all students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
The alleged bias incident has also been reported to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and the state Attorney General’s Office, according to him.
The NJSIAA claims it has no jurisdiction over the incident because it occurred…
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