Is Petaluma the accepting and open-minded town we like to think it is?
An incident in which Hispanic basketball players from Santa Rosa were taunted by Petaluma High School students during a game earlier this month has prompted a conversation about discrimination and racism.
On February 1, PHS students attending the home game began chanting “USA! USA!.” Another student held up a sign that read “Dirty Sanchez,” aimed at Angel Sanchez, a Latino basketball player from Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, according to a story in Thursday’s Argus Courier.
Petaluma High School Principal David Stirrat was at the game, but did not stop the chanting, something he now says he regrets.
“It’s subjective what patriotism is…it takes a bit of time to make that mental leap,” he wrote in an email to PHS parents, quoted in the paper. “Personally I regret not stopping the chanting. In my retrospection, I should have guided the students that evening.”
Elsie Allen Principal Mary Gail Stablein said she was shocked and disappointed by the behavior, but proud the Santa Rosa students did not react to the provocation, according to the story.
PHS students have written to Elsie Allen High School apologizing for the incident and the school last week held discussion about racism and discrimination in the society.
To read the full story, click here.
What do you think? Was this an isolated incident or indicative of attitudes prevalent in our community? What can be done to correct it? Are you a student or parent with a child attending a local school? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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