Rockland County School Accused of Racist Taunts for Third Time in Three Months


A third racist incident took place at a Pearl River, New York, school sports event within a three month span. Earlier this year it was monkey sounds, and this week on May 18, racial slurs were thrown at student athletes, reports WABC

In February, fans at a Rockland County high school basketball game repeatedly shouted monkey noises at different Black players making free throws during a varsity match. Pearl River High School hosted the predominantly Black Nyack High School basketball team.

On Wednesday, Nyack was competing at a track meet with Pearl River in Suffern when a seventh grader from Pearl River reportedly called a Nyack Middle student the N-word.

After the student alerted coaches, the children were removed from the meet.

For the second time this year, the community is outraged that this would happen short after the racist monkey taunts, considering the school district issued a statement months ago that they would attempt to quell the racist incidents. Since April 12, the district adopted a Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity in Education policy and the creation of an equity task force.

Unsurprisingly, Superintendent Dr. Marco Pochintesta said an identical event occured when Pearl River hosted Suffern High School for a basketball game just a week before the February incident. He also admitted that two other harmful instances took place with LGBTQ+ students but have no leads for those responsible.

In a statement, Dr. Pochintesta said, “These offensive and unacceptable actions are hurtful and have led to serious consequences for those responsible. While we have identified and held accountable the students involved, I know this behavior in no way reflects the true character of our school community and we have zero tolerance for such hateful thinking. 

“We are reminded that we all have an obligation to not only confront racism when it occurs, but also to implement programs and allocate appropriate resources to prevent its continuation in our district. We must reiterate how absolutely essential it is to the core values of our school community that all persons be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Nicole Hines of the NAACP is not happy with the task force’s progress of still being in planning stages three months later. 

“If you are going to create something and this means so much to you and you think this is very horrific and it’s traumatizing and you know all these things, then you need to be on the ball, it happened February 9 and we’re now in May,” she said.

According to the district athletic governing body, Nyack has been given the option to not schedule further athletic events with Pearl River.

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