Superintendent responds to viral bus incident: “Our students shouldn’t have to endure this kind of prejudice and racism”

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The Rock Island-Milan School District Superintendent responded to an incident between a bus driver and the Rock Island High School boys’ soccer team that went viral on social media.

“Some of the members of the football team were confronted by the driver of the charter bus who refused to let the players get on the bus because the players were wearing a Mexican flag to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day,” he said. Dr Reginald Lawrence II said in a statement sent to Local News 4. “The team members got off the bus and refused to get on again. Unfortunately, the issue could not be resolved in time for the football team to get to the game, and the game had to be rescheduled.

“Our students shouldn’t have to endure this kind of prejudice and racism,” Lawrence continued. “What happened was extremely disappointing and unacceptable, however our RIHS football team and the head coach behaved with respect and dignity.”

Tune into Local 4 News at 5 for expanded coverage of this story.

Here is his full statement:

Dear community of the school district of Rock Island-Milan,

On September 16, 2021, our Rock Island High School Boys Soccer team encountered an unfortunate situation with a charter bus company the school district had contracted with for transportation to an out of town soccer game. Some of the soccer team members were confronted by the charter bus driver who refused to let the players board the bus because the players were carrying a Mexican flag to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. The team members got off the bus and refused to get on again. Unfortunately, the issue could not be resolved in time for the football team to get to the game, and the game had to be rescheduled. With everything that happened, our RIHS soccer team and head coach behaved with respect and dignity.

Our students should not have to endure this kind of prejudice and racism. What happened was extremely disappointing and unacceptable, however, our RIHS soccer team and the head coach behaved with respect and dignity.

The Rock Island-Milan School District is a school district of many countries and we are here to support our students. All the work (educational, social / emotional and extracurricular) that the Rock Island-Milan School District does revolves around Cultural Intelligence (CQ), which allows us to better understand cultures and helps us to work in a positive way. and compassionate with people of diverse cultures.

We hope that more discussions develop from this situation, as these conversations are more important than ever. We hope the Rock Island-Milan School District can lead with shared values ​​of justice, opportunity, community and equity. Racism is counterproductive to our values, and we must do everything in our power to end it.

Truly,

Dr Reginald Lawrence II

Superintendent, Rock Island-Milan School District # 41

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