The Shippensburg Area School Board apologized Tuesday to the York High community for the actions of some of its fans during last week's playoff football game.
The Greyhounds played the Bearcats in the District 3 Class 5-A quarterfinals at Chambersburg High School, and according to the apology, some Shippensburg fans "shouted racist, derogatory comments" at York High fans and players. York High won the game 22-6.
The apology statement was unanimously approved by the school board. Here is the full statement:
"We were disappointed and embarrassed to learn that a few Shippensburg fans shouted racist, derogatory comments to York supporters and players after Friday’s game. The Shippensburg Area School District apologizes for the hurtful conduct of a few of our supporters who, by their actions, brought dishonor to our school and district. With this expression of our apologies, we also extend good luck to William Penn High School in their upcoming playoff contest."
The Shippensburg Area School District declined further comment.
York City School District acting superintendent Andrea Berry responded to the statement, thanking Shippensburg for the apology in a statement of her own.
"The School District of the City of York thanks the Shippensburg Area School District for its gracious acknowledgment of inappropriate comments directed at York students and supporters after the Nov. 9 playoff football game between the Bearcats and the Shippensburg Greyhounds," Berry wrote. "We appreciate the decisive action of the Shippensburg superintendent and the district’s Board of School Directors at a recent meeting to publicly condemn this hurtful behavior. We join the Shippensburg Area School District in taking seriously our responsibility to teach all children the inherent dignity of all people."
Attempts to reach York High head coach Russ Stoner were unsuccessful.
York City Superintendent Eric Holmes is on leave, according to a spokeswoman for the district.
Tim Hess, president of the Maroon and Grey Football Booster Club at Shippensburg, published a long post on Facebook, disagreeing with the school board's apology.
"I was at the game and did not hear this from our fans," wrote Hess, referencing to the "racist, derogatory" comments. "If it did happen those fans should be ashamed of themselves. However, I am very disappointed in the school board and administration for posting this apology."
Hess went on to claim York High's fans, coaches and players were disrespectful during and after the game and said the Shippensburg community should instead "demand" an apology from York High.
"The last thing I want to say is that I respect our School Board and Administration as much if not more than anyone else," he wrote. "However, in this case they are WRONG [sic]. We should be standing together and issuing a demand from York High that they apologize for the actions of their Coaches, Players and Fans. Please get the whole story and more importantly listen to the Greyhound supporters who go to the games and support our Greyhound [sic]."
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