A Black teenager from Georgia’s Gwinnett County is claiming that she was called the “N-word” during her lacrosse game, according to WSB-TV.
Aja Thomas, a goalie for Brookwood High school in Snellville, Georgia says the incident happened during the second half of a game at Cherokee High School when boys from the Cherokee lacrosse team started yelling at her.
Aja said, according to WSB-TV, “They said the N-word with the hard ‘r.’ I was angry, I was crying, I was going through every single emotion I could at the moment.”
In response, Aja said she told her mom, who is also her coach, Dr. Dawn Thomas.
Coach Thomas then spoke to the coach, principal and the ref and let them know their behavior was unacceptable and as result, the refs asked them to leave the stadium, according to WSB-TV.
But William Bo Ford Jr., the principal of Cherokee High School, got in the way and instead opted for the boys to sit with him.
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Channel 2 Action News got a statement from Cherokee High principal Rodney Larrotta, who said, in part, “the administration at CHS spent several hours interviewing coaches, players, other spectators and students who were present at the game; none reported hearing any racial slurs. At this time, none of the allegations have been substantiated.”
Alexis Scoggins said she was on the field when the slurs were yelled and she said the response was hurtful.
“Even with the overaggressive heckling, despite racial stuff being said, they should have been removed from the premises,” Scoggins said.
Thomas was not pleased with the way school administrators handled the situation.
“As administration when you don’t do anything, when you don’t punish people when they are wrong, you are letting everyone know you are above it all, Thomas said.
Following the incident, principal William Bo Ford Jr. said according to WSB-TV, “We feel the environment was hostile and believe racial slurs were used during the second half of the competition. It is extremely disappointing that someone would use racist language to attack a group of student-athletes because of the color of their skin.”
The incident is still being investigated by both schools.