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Va. middle school football players make racially insensitive video, team forfeits season

(Photo, MGN Online){ }

SHORT PUMP, Va. (AP) - A middle school football team in Virginia has forfeited the remainder of its season after players made a racially insensitive video.

WWBT-TV reports that the video shows white students simulating sex acts on their black peers.

The images are overlaid with racially charged language.

The Henrico School Board released the following statement on the incident.

"Dear Henrico Schools Community Members,

The Henrico County School Board is deeply concerned by the actions of students in the video taken in a Short Pump Middle School (SPMS) locker room. Adamantly, behavior of this type will not be tolerated in our schools. As noted in the HCPS Student Activities Contract, “Participation in athletics and other student activities is a privilege and as such, requires that students adhere to certain rules.”

As a consequence of the students’ actions that came to the school’s attention on Monday, the remaining football games for the SPMS football team will be forfeited; however, practices will continue. A mandatory component of practices will be discussions that focus on reporting responsibilities, accountability, ethics, sexual harassment, and racial tolerance. We acknowledge that all team members were not involved in the incident; however, we believe there are important lessons/reminders that should be reinforced with all team members.

The school division will also develop action steps for preventing such incidents in our schools. We will include staff, parent, administrator and student representatives in this dialogue. Our hope is to use this very unfortunate event as a meaningful learning opportunity for students moving forward.

Again, there is no place in HCPS for the kind of behavior portrayed in the video. We have extremely high expectations, and students who fail to meet the Code of Student Conduct standards will be addressed promptly and appropriately. While we realize many families would like to know more, we are prohibited from providing information pertaining to students.

As we move forward, we welcome your thoughts and comments as we work to better our school division and community."

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