Students post racist messages regarding Garfield players
March 11, 2014
By Josh Liebeskind
TACOMA — Issaquah and Garfield high school administrators worked together to ensure a safe environment when the schools faced each other in the Class 4A boys semifinal basketball game March 7.
The extra effort came after racially charged messages appeared on social media following the schools’ matchup Feb. 21.
Garfield’s school resource officer reached out to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association to inform it of the situation. The WIAA decided additional security for the game was not necessary. Issaquah planned to have more school administrators on site than usual to provide extra security.
Issaquah Principal Andrea McCormick said she was made aware of the messages by Garfield Principal Ted Howard II on Feb. 24. McCormick could not confirm the social media site the messages appeared on, but said the comments appeared online following Garfield’s 83-65 victory over Issaquah three days earlier.
McCormick said Issaquah High School immediately investigated the situation and has disciplined those known to have been involved. McCormick said she is not allowed to disclose names or how many students were involved, due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, but said it was “a handful.”
“It’s really just sad and disturbing because these tweets were highly offensive and inappropriate, and again, so not representative of our student body,” McCormick said.
A malicious harassment report was filed with the Seattle Police Department, and Issaquah High School is fully cooperating, McCormick said.
Garfield coach Ed Haskins declined to comment. Issaquah coach Jason Griffith also declined to comment, but said no basketball players were involved.