My Northwest is reporting that after the school's third meet-up with Issaquah's basketball team, things took a nasty turn after tweets were sent saying racially disrespectful things about team members and cheerleaders.
From the report:
Senior Mikayla Brooks has been a cheerleader at Garfield for two years. She says the trash talk between teams during the games or online usually stays lighthearted.
"It's usually jokes back and forth, you know we'll say things back and forth like you got swatted you know it's kind of a fun thing."
According to a police report filed by the Garfield High School resource officer, the online chatter after the teams' third match-up on February 21 crossed the line again from trash talk to hate speech.
"Other people got involved, I don't know who they are. They're behind an anonymous account and they made statements such as 'a mistake was when Abraham Lincoln freed you guys' and 'you guys have primitive minds' and stuff like that. It was really sad and very hurtful," she says. "This is the first time that we've really had a serious problem with another school, so it really took people by surprise."
In all, ten pages of tweets and pictures referencing derogatory terms for African Americans, comparing them to monkeys or calling them primitive, were posted by an account labeled "IssyBros."
Issaquah's principal confirms it was members of Issaquah's student body who sent the tweets.
"Due to the federal right to privacy laws, I can't share with you the details on the discipline or the students involved," she said. "But we did feel it was violating our district conduct and policies and procedures which were not tolerated by us and the students that were involved were investigated and disciplined according to those policies...We found the tweets to be extremely offensive and we're disappointed that our students were involved in that activity."
Were those players taken off the team? That might have been good.
Garfield's Black Student Union issued the following statement Thursday about the incidents:
"As the Garfield community of students and staff, we are disappointed by Issaquah's lack of responsiveness in assuming responsibility for the comments," says Muth."We expect the students involved and Issaquah as a whole to issue a formal apology," added Alicia Butler, a senior at Garfield High School."This is the first time we are aware that we were attacked with this kind of racist language on social media, but unfortunately we are used to hearing comments like this from students at competing schools, on and off the court," says Jagana.
According to Detective Renee Witt, the Seattle Police Department takes these messages very seriously. "It is a case that is being reviewed by our bias crime detective to see if it meets a malicious harassment filing."