Another parent has come forward with complaints of racial slurs used on a football field — this time at a freshman game between two Des Moines, Iowa, teams.
It’s the second occasion in which a parent publicly has expressed concern about a competition this season, and Des Moines Public Schools is considering how to prevent further incidents.
Brooke McGivern contacted The Des Moines Register Wednesday after her son Lathan, who play’s on Lincoln’s freshman football team, was allegedly called a racial slur during a game against Roosevelt High last month.
Recently, the mother of a varsity football player at Roosevelt spoke out against a racial slur used against her son at an Ankeny Centennial game.
“We are exploring the possibility of bringing schools that compete against each other on the field and court together for a discussion on the values of diversity and sportsmanship,” said Phil Roeder, spokesman for the district.
McGivern said a white player made the comments multiple times to her son, who is bi-racial, during the fourth quarter of the freshman game Aug. 26. The district confirmed that racial slurs were reported to the Lincoln coach that day, and that Roosevelt’s principal investigated after receiving a parent complaint.
Several Roosevelt players were interviewed after the complaint, but no one admitted to either hearing or making the remarks, Roeder said.
“At this time, without more to go on, Roosevelt does not believe there is enough to punish an individual student,” Roeder said. “If there is additional information, however, that could change.”
McGivern said she’s frustrated by the school’s response.
“I feel like the player should be suspended for a game. Or have to apologize to the Lincoln football team,” she said. “There should be bigger follow-up.”
Roeder said Roosevelt coaches take preventative measures by talking about respect, and “to never say any derogatory, racial or otherwise, in practice or in a game.”
“It’s sad, to say the least, if anyone in the year 2016 would ever think a racial slur is appropriate,” he said. “If this happens, students should be held accountable, especially since participation in activities is a privilege. It needs to end.”