DENVER – Denver Public Schools and Weld County School District Re-3J says they “may never have a conclusive picture of what happened” at last Friday’s game between Weld Central and Manual High, when racial slurs and insignia were allegedly at the center of a spat between the two teams.
The principals of both schools and superintendents of both districts issued a joint statement to both districts Tuesday evening saying they were forming a student exchange group between the schools to learn more from one another.
Manual High students had accused Weld Central students or players of displaying a Confederate flag during the game, and some players had accused others from the opposing team of using racial slurs.
But in the letter released Tuesday night, the districts and schools were firm that the Weld Central football team didn’t display a Confederate flag, from what they’ve learned “to date” in the investigation.
“At the same time, multiple Manual eyewitnesses reported seeing spectators who attempted to bring a Confederate flag into the game and clothing with flag images. To be clear, the confederate flag plays no role in Weld Central, and neither school condones symbols or acts of racism,” the letter said.
Read the full letter below:
Sept. 26, 2017
Dear Manual and Weld Central High School Communities,
We as school leaders and superintendents are joining together on the common ground we share – our deep love for our students and our communities, and our profound belief that our mission as educators is to build bridges of understanding.
This past weekend has been difficult for both our communities, and we want to move forward in a way that supports learning and healing.
We know there are greatly conflicting accounts as to what occurred Friday night, and we also know that, despite our best efforts, we may never have a conclusive picture of what happened.
Based on what we have learned to date, however, the Weld Central team did not display the Confederate flag. At the same time, multiple Manual eyewitnesses reported seeing spectators who attempted to bring a Confederate flag into the game and clothing with flag images.
To be clear, the confederate flag plays no role in Weld Central, and neither school condones symbols or acts of racism.
Our focus now must be on working together for the sake of our students.
Together, we are laying the foundation for a Student Leadership Exchange between our schools, one in which student leaders from both schools come together and share ideas and perspectives.
As part of the exchange, our student leaders will have the opportunity to visit each other’s schools and communities. We believe we have much to learn from each other.
As we work together, we encourage our students, families, educators and community members to focus on moving forward and building bridges.
At a time in our country when so many are divided, we want our students instead to come together, share ideas and learn together.
Principal Nick Dawkins, Manual High School Superintendent
Tom Boasberg, Denver Public Schools Principal
Dan Kennedy, Weld Central High School
Superintendent Greg Rabenhorst, Weld County School District Re-3J