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Racist remarks made during basketball game at Franklin High School under investigation

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) – Students from Horlick High School took part in a march Friday.

The students have a number of concerns including an incident that took place at a basketball game Thursday night.

The protest was planned before Thursday’s basketball game at Franklin High School, however, students say what happened during the game is why there needs to be change.

Students and parents say last night, Horlick High School basketball players were called racial slurs by Franklin High School students. They say spectators made monkey noises at them during the entire game.

On Friday, basketball players joined students in a march and rally from Horlick to the Racine Central Office to address school leaders on matters of race.

A parent of one of the Horlick High School basketball players says she was devastated by what happened to her child.

"He was in danger. I really felt my son was disrespected. He felt less than human. He cried. He just didn't understand. He's been playing basketball since he was six. He's 17, this just never happened before,” said Shanika Sutton, a parent of a Horlick High School basketball player.

“I was the one shooting free throws and I was shooting, they started making the monkey noises, I just held my composure,” said Horlick High School basketball player Stephon Chapman.

The Horlick Activities Director Joe Wendt released the following statement about Thursday night’s game:

"I have been in contact with Franklin administration today. What I would like to share is that I am extremely proud of the way our athletes, coaches and students carried themselves last evening. They showed class, dignity and respect in the way they responded to a difficult situation."

Franklin Public School responded to the incident with the following statement:

Franklin High School administration is investigating a complaint that inappropriate and racist conduct occurred during a boys’ basketball game last night and have been in contact with Racine Horlick leadership today.

An administrator immediately responded to the spectator complaint and a student in question was removed from the gymnasium. This matter remains under investigation.

Franklin Public Schools does not tolerate discriminatory or harassing conduct by students at school, at school sponsored activities and events, or otherwise. Complaints of this conduct are taken seriously and investigated as such. Any student who is found to have engaged in this conduct is subject to disciplinary action by the Franklin High School administration.

The following is the WIAA Sportsmanship statement that is read before Franklin High School home athletic events:

“This game is being played in accordance with Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Guidelines. The WIAA requires good sportsmanship by studentathletes, coaches, and spectators at educationbased, interscholastic events. We request your cooperation by supporting the participants and officials in a positive manner. Profane,racial,sexist or ethnic comments or other intimidating actions directed at officials, studentathletes, coaches or team representatives will not be tolerated and are grounds for removal from the site of competition. It is expected that all in attendance exhibit and promote good sportsmanship throughout this contest. Please cheer positively showing respect for the teams, coaches, officials, and event supervision staff.”

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