BY JEAN JONES
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
Following a JV football game between Cherokee and Swain on Thursday, Sept. 19, a Cherokee player received racist messages from a Swain player.
The messages included racial slurs for American Indians and African-Americans as well as vulgar references to the Cherokee player’s older sister.
In an update on this situation, Cherokee Central Schools Superintendent Scott Penland commented, “There was a very unfortunate incident on social media last Thursday night after the JV football game with Swain County. Our high school administration got right on it Friday morning and communicated with Swain County High School.”
“Their superintendent and administrators came to Cherokee later that day to meet with us to discuss the seriousness of this incident. We let them know that this was very inappropriate and uncalled for. They were in agreement and were very embarrassed that one of their players was involved in this kind of behavior. We left the meeting very confident that they would handle the situation appropriately.”
“The superintendent from Swain County has been in contact with me daily,” Penland continued, “giving me updates on their investigation. I am fully confident that they are dealing appropriately and effectively with the incident and are putting measures in place to make sure this does not ever happen again. I am very proud of our student body for not jumping into the ‘fray’ themselves. They have showed restraint and responsibility during the past week and we can all be proud that we are represented by such a great student body.”
Steve Claxton, Swain County Community Schools coordinator, said in a statement, “The Swain County School System has completed a thorough investigation of the incident involving a member of the junior varsity football team and the use of social media. This information has been turned over to the proper authorities. The student directly involved with the incident has been removed from the football team for the remainder of the season and has been suspended for a period of ten days in compliance with the school board policies. It is the school system’s responsibility to continue to provide educational opportunities to this student during this suspension period.”