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School districts investigate use of ‘derogatory racial language’ at football game

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Oconomowoc High School

OCONOMOWOC -- Two suburban school districts say they are investigating the use of racial slurs by fans at a recent football game. There are claims the slurs were used by players on the field, but it just depends on who you ask.

On Friday night, Oct. 18, the Oconomowoc High School played host to the Wauwatosa East Red Raiders. But the time the final whistle blew, the Raccoons bested the Raiders, 21-6. But in the days that followed, the two school districts have been looking into allegations of racist language used during the game.

The school districts confirm a Wauwatosa east player told a game official a person in the Oconomowoc student section shouted "derogatory racial language" at him.

Oconomowoc High School

A Wauwatosa East coach also asked if game officials heard anything -- while some East athletes claimed the same slur was used by some Oconomowoc players.

An East High School parent also reached out to both districts in the days the followed.

Wauwatosa School District released the following statement:

"The Oconomowoc School District has confirmed that “the OHS administration has reason to believe that two racial slurs were made by OHS students in our student section”, which is what was reported on Friday, October 18th.

"On Friday, October 18, during a football game between Wauwatosa East High School and Oconomowoc High School, a member of the Wauwatosa East High School football team reported to a game official that an individual in Oconomowoc’s fan section shouted derogatory racial language directed at him. Specifically, he says he told the official that fans called out his number, and used expletives with the “N” word. The student-athlete then reported the incident to Wauwatosa East High School coaching staff. Wauwatosa East High School coaching staff followed protocol and took the reported behavior to game officials and did so more than once.  Protocols are that officials are to take the report to the game manager or opposing coach. It is our understanding that did not happen. Additionally, a Wauwatosa East High School parent contacted administrators at both schools and districts reporting that her son experienced offensive racial language directed at him during the football game.

"Following the game, additional Wauwatosa East student-athletes shared with East’s coaching staff that they heard the same racial slur used on the field by some of Oconomowoc’s players.

"The Wauwatosa School District was not notified by Oconomowoc School District of any reports of any alleged inappropriate conduct by Wauwatosa East High School football players until late in the afternoon on Wednesday, October 23rd.  The Wauwatosa School District takes all reports seriously and will be investigating this new information and will take appropriate action. The Wauwatosa School District is proud of the diverse community and student body we have and condemns any words or actions that are hateful in nature at any time, in any location."


Oconomowoc Area School District tells FOX6 News on Wednesday, Oct. 23 that its investigation found "none of our athletes used or directed racial slurs towards their opponents." But said that in interviews with students that "vulgar comments" and"racial slurs" "were used repeatedly" by Wauwatosa East High School athletes "toward our athletes."

However, the district did say it "has reason to believe that two racial slurs were made by OHS students in our student section who have not been identified."

OASD said in part, "We recognize that we have had students misstep in the past, sometimes in very unacceptable ways, and we have owned those mistakes and held students accountable. We also will support our students and coaches in cases like this when our investigation does not reveal the facts consistent with what was reported."

According to OASD, game officials never heard anything racist said all game.

Oconomowoc schools said it is continuing its investigation and working with its school resource officer to identify the students responsible.

Again, Wauwatosa schools said late Wednesday night that it is looking into alleged inappropriate conduct of its own football players after being notified by Oconomowoc school officials.

Wauwatosa East High School

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