At a recent basketball game between Delaware Military Academy and A.I. DuPont High School, a fight broke out when DMA or students in the stands allegedly used racial slurs including the “n” word. As a result, the A.I. team has been suspended the rest of the season while the DMA players seemingly have not been punished for instigating the incident. I do not condone using force to resolve issues. If there was fighting, then certainly the A.I. players should be punished. With that being said, the use of racist slurs should NOT go unpunished. Details are sparse on this incident and I did reach out to Red Clay Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty and Delaware Military Academy Commandant Anthony Pullella to see if they can confirm what actions took place. As of this writing, I have yet to receive a response from either of them.
Apparently, this is not the only incident involving charter schools within Red Clay and Red Clay high schools. Several parents have suggested there was an incident between Charter School of Wilmington and Cab Calloway and the incident with DMA is not the first time racial slurs were said by DMA players.
Without “actual” documentation, much of this is hearsay. However, when enough parents start talking about something, expect a lot of noise. I don’t think this matter is going to quietly go away. For the current school year, DMA has a population of African-American students of 5.8% while A.I. DuPont has 36.1% according to the Delaware Dept. of Education website.
Updated, 10:42am: The News Journal covered the team’s suspension but not a single word was written about the alleged racial slurs.
Updated, 10:55am: The incident did not involve actual assault but players from A.I. rushing to the student seats at the DMA home game. Their coach had explicitly informed them to stay in their seats. Red Clay closed the investigation last week but it was reopened as of today. If anyone has firsthand knowledge of racial slurs being used at this game, please contact the Red Clay Consolidated District Office and Delaware Military Academy.
Updated, 11:00am: I have not received any response to my request for information from Daugherty or Pullella.
Updated, 12:34pm: Red Clay Board of Education member Adriana Bohm put the following message on Facebook:
In regards to the AI/DMA situation and based on information I received I requested the case be re-opened and it was reopened this morning. If folks heard the “N Word” and other racially derogatory language being used at the game please file an official complaint and write a letter to the Red Clay School Board. The email address is RCBOARDMEMBERS@redclay.k12.de.us. You may also message me so we can talk.
Updated, 1:27pm: I heard back from Red Clay Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty. I will include my initial request as well as his response:
Several people have reached out to me this morning in regards to a fight at a DMA basketball game. What I’m hearing is the AI team has been suspended the rest of the season. I’ve also heard the catalyst for this fight was the use of racial slurs by DMA players that have gone unpunished. Can you confirm any of this? This is under the assumption you would not know or be able to control what kind of punishment would occur for DMA players.
Dr. Daugherty’s Response:
We have investigated this incident for several days. We have interviewed coaches, administrators, security personnel, and parents of players from both teams who were at the game. None of those persons interviewed reported hearing any racial slurs. The decision to forfeit the remainder of the season (one game) and the playoffs was made because of the players actions at the conclusion of the game. The account of the incident in today’s News Journal is accurate. And, you are correct in that Red Clay is not responsible for the discipline of DMA students.
I have yet to receive a response from Commandant Pullella at Delaware Military Academy. There appears to be some confusion on whether the alleged racial epithets were coming from DMA basketball players or students in the stands.
Updated, 2/23/17, 4:28pm: I have updated this article to reflect that the alleged racial slurs came from Delaware Military Academy students in the stands, not their basketball players. There have been several reports about a hostile attitude at the game towards the A.I. DuPont High School team.