The Temecula Valley Unified School District Tuesday was investigating allegations by cheerleaders from a Moreno Valley school that they were taunted with racially tinged language and gestures during a football game.
“Our school district embraces diversity and strongly condemns hate speech and offensive, hateful language or racial intolerance of any kind on the sports fields, in school buildings or anywhere on or off school premises,” according to a TVUSD statement. “We will hold anyone found to have used such language while representing any of our schools accountable for their words and actions.”
The Valley View High School cheerleaders, identified publicly as Kharissa Darden and Sabria Rose, told officials that trouble surfaced during Friday night’s varsity game between the visiting Valley View Eagles and the Temecula Valley High School Golden Bears.
The girls said they were booed by home team fans when they tried to perform during halftime, and were on the receiving end of unspecified racial slurs while trying to make purchases at a snack bar, where unidentified individuals also allegedly made monkey sounds, according to published reports and interviews the girls gave to reporters.
The girls’ also said there was an incident of alleged inappropriate touching.
“TVUSD leadership has been working in collaboration with Moreno Valley Unified School District to ensure that we appropriately look into and address this matter,” according to the district’s statement. “Temecula Valley High will investigate any incidents thoroughly and will be taking swift and appropriate action if deemed necessary.”
The district affirmed the need to “continue to strive to promote equity, sportsmanship, respect, and fair play on and off the field.”
The Moreno Valley Unified School District responded in a statement that it was concerned about the alleged “unfair treatment and unacceptable behavior by attendees from Temecula Valley High School.
“We care about all our students and we encourage all families and staff to continue to say something if you see something,” the statement said. “We are here to support all of our students and staff and thank those who have submitted reports regarding the situation. We will continue to work together and maintain focus on embracing and championing our diverse communities and inclusion across all schools and in our society.”