Cops Investigate ‘Bias Crime’ at Washington State High School

Several high school students could face disciplinary action for posting incendiary comments about African-American students on an opposing basketball team.

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Several Seattle high school students could face disciplinary action for posting incendiary comments about African-American students on an opposing basketball team.

Screenshot of Seattle Police Department report

Students at a Seattle high school could face disciplinary action after they reportedly hurled racial slurs at black basketball players on a rival team after a loss, MYNorthwest reports.

The teams competed Friday for the fourth time this year at the WIAA State Basketball Tournament, but it was during the third matchup on Feb. 21 when the incident occurred.

Police say that several Issaquah High School students took to Facebook, Twitter and texting to harass players on Garfield High School’s basketball team, saying, “Checkmate was when Abraham Lincoln made the mistake of freeing you,” the report says. They also wrote, “No actually just my insults are too complicated for your primitive mind to understand.”

Seattle police are reviewing the posts to see if they constitute a bias crime for malicious harassment under Washington State law. Issaquah High School officials investigated the complaints and posted an apology online.

It reads, in part: "We are sincerely sorry for the hurtful actions by a few students who acted on their own. Thus far in our investigation, none of the varsity basketball players were involved in the tweets."

The incident marked the second in almost as many weeks. On Thursday, The Root reported that Mahopac High School lost 43-40 to top-seeded Mount Vernon, which is made up mostly of black players. After the game, some Mahopac students posted hurtful comments, including: “That’s why you shouldn’t let monkeys out of their cages #MtVernonZoo,” and “tough loss boys, but at least we can talk to our dads about it,” a reference to the widespread belief about absent black fathers.

Read more at MYNorthwest.