Three Mahopac High School students have been suspended for racist tweets stemming from a basketball game against Mount Vernon High School on February 27th. Mahopac lost the game, a Class AA Section 1 semifinal, 43-40.
The tweets, which have since been taken down, contained the hashtag “#mountvernonzoo” and taunts like, “2,4,6,8, most of them won’t graduate.” One tweet likened Mt. Vernon residents to monkeys and another contained an image of a confederate flag, to which one student replied, “Plz parade it thru the halls tomorrow.”
Mount Vernon Superintendent of Schools Judith Johnson called for a one-year suspension of Mahopac’s varsity team and, in a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Education Commissioner John King, alleged that players “were verbally attacked and subjected to racial taunts of an abhorrent nature,” according to The Journal News. The Mahopac school district is investigating whether any of their players used racial slurs against Mount Vernon players when the teams shook hands before the February 27th game.
Mahopac Superintendent of Schools Thomas Manko is quoted in an ABCLocal article as saying: “I’m appalled, it’s unacceptable. Our children know better. Parents can’t watch them 24/7 and make them write what they should write.”
More students face disciplinary action, and suspended students will undergo sensitivity training when they return to school.