'These children should not be taught hatred.' Racist gesture caught on camera during Mepham, Elmont HS basketball game
An act of racism was caught on camera during a high school basketball game between Mepham and Elmont high schools.
A student at Mepham was accused of using a bunch of bananas to taunt Black players from Elmont during a girls' junior varsity game.
The person who sent the pictures to News 12 says the student was yelling, "Here monkeys, come and get it."
"These children should not be taught hatred," one parent said.
In a message to the Bellmore-Merrick community, the school superintendent wrote, "A district student spectator made inappropriate, racist gestures in the crowd making reference to the other team's players."
Officials say the district took immediate action writing that, "We can assure you that the student responsible for this reprehensible behavior will be disciplined and receive significant consequences in accordance to the district's code of conduct."
Elaine Gross, with the group Erase Racism, says the students' actions show why schools should have frequent and honest conversations about race.
"Unless we are consistent with efforts before there's an incident to have the kind of measured conversations about race and racism, we're never going to get out of this kind of cycle," Gross says.
The superintendent of the Sewanhaka Central High School says they were disappointed by the student's actions but praised the Bellmore-Merrick District for quickly addressing the situation, which included an apology to the entire Elmont community.