PEPPER PIKE, Ohio — During a men’s varsity lacrosse game on Monday, Orange High School lacrosse players said a Lake Catholic player had a swastika on his leg, according to a statement released by Orange's superintendent. Alumni and parents also reported that a visitor was using racial slurs toward the Orange team, said superintendent Dr. Lynn Campbell of Orange City Schools.
Lake Catholic has responded by saying it is "aware of the very serious allegations of anti-Semitism involving a player on the school’s varsity lacrosse team as well as a Lake Catholic fan during the game against Orange High School" and that the school is investigating.
The following statement was released to Orange City School families.
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of an incident that occurred last night on campus during the men’s lacrosse game against Mentor Lake Catholic High School. Our players reported seeing a swastika painted on the leg of a Lake Catholic player, and subsequently, alumni and parents reported that a visitor was using racist slurs toward our team.
I have spoken to the President of Lake Catholic who shared that he and the Diocese are aware of the magnitude of this situation. He confirmed that they are addressing the incidents, and he is very apologetic and obviously, does not approve of these behaviors. It is important to note that student discipline is confidential, so it is likely that we will not be made aware of this player’s consequences.
Please know that safety is our top priority, and the Board does not tolerate discrimination or harassment. Furthermore, we understand the devastating impact these incidents have on kids and our community. Therefore, our players will be informed about the support we have for them as they try to understand and process this incident.
I am proud of how our athletes took the high road and played with dignity, winning this playoff match in a landslide amidst such upsetting circumstances. Here at Orange, we are proud of and celebrate our diversity, and we are very proud of all of our fine students.
Lake Catholic issued this response hours later.
Administrators at Lake Catholic High School have been made aware of the very serious allegations of anti-Semitism involving a player on the school’s varsity lacrosse team as well as a Lake Catholic fan during the game against Orange High School yesterday evening. The behaviors alleged are reprehensible and contrary to the Gospel values that Lake Catholic works so hard to promote. Lake Catholic is currently conducting an investigation into the matter in order to gather all the facts. Once the investigation is completed, appropriate action will be taken to address the matter. Lake Catholic and the Diocese of Cleveland condemn anti-Semitism in any form and extends its sincere apologies to the Orange High School community for the hurt they are experiencing as a result of what has been reported.
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