Minnesota State High School League announces initiative after racist acts

After several acts of racism connected to high school sports in the Twin Cities metro, the Minnesota State High School League announced steps on Thursday to combat racism.

In recent weeks, racist slurs and acts have reportedly been made by fans at New Prague games, by a Minnetonka girls basketball player, along with the recent report of a girl on the Prior Lake basketball team who was reportedly targeted by a teammate.

In a memo to schools, the MSHSL announced it would take the following steps to combat the recent incidents. The steps include:

  • Organize student groups to develop a model code of conduct for all schools. Once developed, this code will be distributed to school boards, administrators, coaches, parents, and students statewide. The code will cover all aspects of participation in activities as well as at school.  It will include activities, athletes, spectators, staff, students, and parents.
  • Convene a student conference, through the MSHSL, MASSP and MNIAA, involving student leaders involved in athletics, fine arts and other activities to raise awareness about student conduct, bullying, gender, race and other issues and assist in the development of tools for all schools.
  • Identify and provide resources to assist schools and administrators in planning, preparing and implementing best practices to address and eliminate these harmful behaviors and support of students and others who have been impacted.

In its memo, the MSHSL writes: "Recently students, schools and communities have experienced racist events that tell us we as school leaders have more work to do. Mistreatment of anyone on any basis is not only intolerable, it is something we, as educational leaders, unequivocally condemn."

Prior Lake girls basketball resigns after racist incident involving players

This week, the head coach of the Prior Lake girls basketball team resigned from his position after one of his players was targeted in a racist incident that was purportedly done by a fellow teammate.

In a message posted online on Wednesday, Coach Demondi Johnson announced he would resign as head coach.

"My goal as a coach was to change the culture of [Prior Lake] and the community, and I do not support this recent transgression," wrote Johnson. "I will never sit down to racism and will always stand up for those who look like me."

The recently reported act follows another incident at Prior Lake earlier this school year when a Black student was targeted in racist videos by a classmate.

Prior Lake's girls basketball game scheduled for Friday has been cancelled as a result of the incident. It was the team's final scheduled game of the season.