by Brendan Dyer
One student from the Mahopac school district was disciplined last week after members from the junior varsity lacrosse team were accused of racist actions during a game against New Rochelle earlier this month.
According to News12, parents of New Rochelle students had accused Mahopac student-athletes of expletive, racist remarks during a junior varsity lacrosse game earlier in April. Allegations also included one incident where a student allegedly refused to shake hands with an African-American student athlete, but that ended up being unfounded.
Superintendent of Schools Anthony DiCarlo investigated the claims over the past week after he apologized to New Rochelle school officials right after the April 11 game. He addressed the incident at the April 25 Board of Education meeting.
“A student was found in violation and has been disciplined,” said DiCarlo. He also clarified that there were not several other students involved as previously claimed and that the identity of the disciplined student would not be revealed, which is policy because of student privacy laws.
The two alleged incidents occurred during the game and afterward when both teams are required to shake hands. According to DiCarlo’s report, the incident where a Mahopac student- athlete failed to shake hands with an African-American New Rochelle student after the game was the result of inattentiveness.
“One player did not shake the hand of a New Rochelle player unintentionally,” said DiCarlo, who also mentioned that the coach and the student involved from Mahopac both apologized right after the post-game handshakes.
The incident comes a few years after eight students were suspended for sending racist tweets on social media in 2014 during a basketball game between Mahopac and Mount Vernon, a predominately African-American high school.
DiCarlo met with all spring sports programs to remind them of the policies, guidelines and regulations in place regarding sportsmanship and intolerance of racism.
“Mahopac has and will continue to be committed to promoting a nurturing environment for students in Mahopac and other communities,” said DiCarlo. “The allegations do not reflect the Mahopac Central School District.”