School board apologizes for tortillas thrown at basketball players from predominantly-Latino California school

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CORONADO, Calif. (KSWB) — The Coronado school board apologized Monday after tortillas were thrown at student-athletes from a predominantly-Latino school district following a championship basketball game this weekend.

Saturday’s game between Orange Glen High School and Coronado High was over after Coronado’s 60-57 win when video showed tortillas hurled onto the court and at Orange Glen players.

On Monday, the Coronado Unified School District Governing Board apologized to the Orange Glen school community and said it will hold a meeting Tuesday to address the incident and consider more action against those involved.

“The Trustees of the Coronado Unified School District acknowledge these acts to be egregious, demeaning, and disrespectful. We fully condemn the racism, classism, and colorism which fueled the actions of the perpetrators,” read a letter obtained by NewsNation affiliate KWSB.

“We have taken swift action and will convene Tuesday, June 22, 2021, for an emergency special meeting of the board at which time we expect to hear the initial results of ongoing investigations and consider additional actions that may need to be taken.”

Coronado Unified School District’s Superintendent called it “unsportsmanlike” conduct in an apology the day after the game.

“Members of our community were involved in an altercation and unsportsmanlike conduct which included throwing tortillas at our visitors from Orange Glen,” Superintendent Karl Mueller wrote. “Swift action will be taken to address all those involved, and they will be held accountable.”

Coronado’s head coach JD Laaperi said on Twitter that a community member brought the tortillas and distributed them, and that Coronado High School does not condone the behavior.

The California Interscholastic Federation said Sunday that an investigation was underway. CIF said it prohibits “discrimination or any acts that are disrespectful or demeaning toward a member school, student-athlete, or school community.”

The Escondido Union High School District, where Orange Glen is located, shared a message with its community saying they are in contact with CUSD about what happened.

“We understand they will be taking swift action to address all those involved,” the letter said. “There is no place for hate in EUHSD. We do not tolerate racism, cultural disrespect, or any other behaviors that demean others.”

Coronado police responded Saturday to help clear people out of the gym after the game.

“We are extremely disturbed by the behavior of some of those attending last night’s basketball game. Their actions are completely unacceptable,” the department said in a statement.

The police department also promised to investigate and said they were able to identify the adult male who took the tortillas to the game. Information about the man or any consequences following Saturday night have not been revealed.

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