By Scott Williams
BURLINGTON, Wisconsin (The Journal Times) — A Burlington Excessive College soccer participant is defending his teammates towards racism allegations, saying that the staff has labored to instill a brand new “tradition” this season.
Colin Szymankiewicz, a senior linebacker and a captain on the soccer staff, instructed faculty board members on Monday night time that the staff has been working to beat points from earlier seasons.
Whereas Szymankiewicz didn’t explicitly deny the brand new allegations that soccer gamers directed racial slurs at an opposing staff, he mentioned he doesn’t consider his teammates would have interaction in such misconduct.
“We’ve been doing so good this season, and all the pieces is so constructive,” he mentioned. “We’re getting a nasty identify and a nasty rap.”
The Burlington Space College Board additionally heard from mother and father and others concerning the allegations stemming from Friday’s soccer recreation performed in Burlington towards Westosha Central Excessive College.
Troy Moldenhauer instructed the board that his personal adopted youngsters of coloration had been at Friday’s recreation, they usually had been subjected to racial slurs. However the hurtful insults, he mentioned, got here from mother and father fairly than different college students.
Moldenhauer mentioned whereas he applauds Burlington academics and workers, he mentioned youngsters are going through dangerous influences inside their very own properties.
“Racial slurs had been thrown at my sons by mother and father again and again throughout the complete recreation,” he mentioned. “My children are taught to like, and I’m actually pleased with them.”
College board members took no motion and provided no response on the soccer staff matter.
BASD officers earlier mentioned they had been investigating the allegations by attempting to interview college students, coaches, referees and others who might need witnessed what occurred Friday night time. Officers mentioned the district wouldn’t tolerate racist habits and would contemplate taking disciplinary motion towards these accountable, if the allegations are discovered to be true.
Central Excessive College District of Westosha officers are cooperating with the investigation.
A bunch referred to as the Burlington Coalition For Dismantling Racism mentioned Saturday that allegations had been surfacing that unidentified Burlington soccer gamers had directed racial slurs towards Westosha gamers following Friday night time’s recreation, which Burlington received by a rating of 20-17.
Burlington faculty officers later confirmed that such allegations had been below investigation. On the time, the varsity district urged mother and father to cease letting their youngsters use racial slurs.
The district additionally famous that Friday’s incident incident occurred on the identical night time that the soccer staff and its followers had been marking the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist assaults in the US.
Laura Bielefeldt, a consultant of the anti-racism coalition, instructed faculty board members Monday that it appeared as if the district was utilizing the 9/11 anniversary to deflect criticism from the alleged racist habits.
“It’s utterly outlandish,” Bielefeldt mentioned. “Whoever issued that assertion ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
One other speaker, Tom Coleman, instructed the varsity board that whoever is making accusations towards the soccer staff ought to be held accountable. Coleman claimed that comparable accusations final yr had been discovered to be unfaithful.
“It’s creating allegations towards good college students, and our district isn’t going to do something?” he mentioned.
After an unnamed soccer participant final yr was accused of utilizing racial slurs towards an opposing staff member — additionally on Westosha Central — the district decided that the participant had used vulgar language, however couldn’t verify if any racial slurs had been used.
In his remarks Monday to the varsity board, Szymankiewicz mentioned Burlington faces many racially various groups, normally with out incident. He credited first-year head coach Eric Sulik with working to vary the staff environment in Burlington.
“We’re pushing this tradition this yr, that we’re professionals, we don’t want to speak,” he mentioned. “We are able to let our enjoying do the speaking.
“We’ve been doing actually good this season. That is type of a setback.”
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