April 17, 2024
Annapolis, US 65 F

Culturally Insensitive Chant Aimed at Arundel High Players by Severna Park Students

Severna Park High School is conducting an internal investigation following a culturally insensitive chant during a boys’ basketball game against Arundel High School. Principal Lindsay Abruzzo issued a letter apologizing to parents and took steps to address the incident, including personally apologizing to the Arundel High basketball team. The specific details of the offensive chant were not disclosed by Anne Arundel County Public Schools Chief Communications Officer Bob Mosier.

Abruzzo stressed the need for a collective effort to rectify such incidents, emphasizing community involvement. During the game, spectators in Severna Park’s student section directed the inappropriate chant at Black players on Arundel’s team. Arundel High Principal Gina Davenport, expressing her concerns, described the incident as a subtle but biased microaggression.

Nine Severna Park High students involved in the chant were identified and are facing consequences according to the school’s Code of Student Conduct. Possible punishments include game suspensions for players and bans for student fans, with varying severity depending on the findings. Abruzzo asserted a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior, warning of immediate game stoppages and removal of students from the gym, with no refunds.

Davenport praised Abruzzo’s sincere apology, noting that changing the normalization of offensive comments requires time. The investigation is ongoing, with interviews continuing, and additional students found involved will face consequences. Abruzzo also said that administrators and athletics staff are instructed to halt games and remove students if such behavior recurs, with repercussions for the remainder of the season.

You can read Abruzzo’s letter to parents here.

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