Clark Mayor Addresses Plainfield City Council After Basketball Puppet Incident

Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso speaks to the Plainfield City Council after Saturday's incident at A.L. Johnson H.S.
Councilman Charles McCrae with oath administered by Courtney L. Smith Credits: Jennifer Popper
Councilman Charles McCrae Credits: Jennifer Popper
Councilwoman Rebecca Williams being sworn in by Mayor Adrian Mapp Credits: Jennifer Popper
Councilwoman Rebecca Williams and Mayor Adrian Mapp Credits: Jennifer Popper
Councilwoman Rebecca Williams being sworn in as City Council President Credits: Jennifer Popper
Councilman Barry Goode being sworn in as 2017 Chairperson, Committee of the Whole Credits: Jennifer Popper
Joylette Mills-Ransome sworn in to fill the 2nd and 3rd Ward City Council vacancy Credits: Jennifer Popper

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso appeared at a Plainfield City Council meeting Monday night to address the incident that occurred before a varsity girls basketball game between A.L. Johnson High School and Plainfield High School on Saturday morning.

A black puppet, hanging by a string looped around its neck and hand, a basketball attached to one end, was reported on social media to have greeted players from the Plainfield High School girls basketball team when they arrived at Johnson High School Saturday morning.

Bonaccorso offered an apology to the residents and school district of Plainfield, and said did not know if what took place had been done with malicious intent. He said that it is being investigated by a number of authorities. 

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In a statement issued after Saturday's incident, Clark Superintendent of Schools Edward Grande said,  “The Clark Board Education and the Clark Community does not condone any demonstrations of intolerance. The Board will promptly and thoroughly investigate this matter to determine what occurred following the basketball game on January 7th and will take remedial action as necessary. It is premature to make any further statements until such time as the investigation is completed. Good sportsmanship and respect of fellow and opponent teammates has and will always continue to be an integral part of Crusader Athletics.”

Plainfield's own Superintendent of Schools Anna Belin-Pyles issued a statement about taking decisive action on behalf of the student athletes and the district.

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