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Sacramento-area school disciplines student who used racist heckles during soccer game

Sacramento Bee 3/10/2022 Joe Davidson, The Sacramento Bee

Mar. 9—Oak Ridge High School has disciplined the student from the El Dorado Hills campus who directed monkey-sound heckling at a Black player during a Northern California championship soccer match Saturday night.

The racist heckling sullied Oak Ridge's victory, hurt the player, angered the Buchanan High program and left Oak Ridge to say more work needs to be done with student sportsmanship as it aims to rehabilitate its image.

Oak Ridge principal Aaron Palm said in an email to The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday afternoon that his school reached out to Buchanan of Clovis to apologize by phone and in writing. The offending student heckled Ciara Wilson, a Black player for the Buchanan who is headed to Fresno State on a soccer scholarship, as she attempted a penalty kick a mostly silent stadium. The monkey sound was loud and clear.

Wilson made the shot and asked the referees to do something about the heckler. The referees met with both coaches and issued a yellow card to the Oak Ridge coach.

Discussion between the high school and the California Interscholastic Federation and the Sac-Joaquin Section this week has included how to better deal with such instances in the future. The CIF, which is based in Sacramento, and the section office, based in Lodi, are discussing disciplinary actions against Oak Ridge, which could include having to travel in future postseasons.

When McClatchy High parents and students rushed the court of a section girls' basketball playoff game against Lincoln of Stockton on Feb. 21 in a game that was not quite yet over, the CIF mandated that the Lions travel for two NorCal Regional playoff games despite having a higher seed, a hit to the school's image and revenue.

"I legally cannot share the discipline that a student receives other than to say they did receive it. And this student did," Palm wrote in the email. "I have spoken to the impacted family and apologized to them on the phone and in writing."

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