[Editor's note: This is an update of the article that appeared on TAP Into yesterday afternoon.]
MAHOPAC, N.Y. - School Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo said he’s reached out and apologized to the New Rochelle School District after some members of the Mahopac JV lacrosse team were accused of using racial epithets directed at their opponents during a game on April 11.
“Literally, that night I reached out and spoke to the high school principal, athletic director and superintendent,” DiCarlo told Mahopac News. “They were happy to hear from me; they know me down there. I apologized for it; it’s hard to control what kids say in the heat of passion. But we are not going to let it fester. We are going to let the kids and the community know that this is not acceptable. We remember what happened in 2014.”
DiCarlo was referring to an incident that took place in February 2014 when several members of the Mahopac varsity basketball team were suspended for making racial remarks during a Sectional game against Mount Vernon and later making racial slurs on Twitter after the game.
DiCarlo said an investigation into the April 11incident is being conducted and that “anyone found responsible will be held accountable in accordance with district policies and procedures.”
Channel 12 News reported that the parents of boys on the New Rochelle team said a Mahopac player called the New Rochelle players "(expletive) Mexicans" and some Mahopac players avoided shaking hands with African-American players after the game. The station also reported that the player accused of using the foul language was taken out of the game but reported that New Rochelle parents said that’s not enough.
DiCarlo noted that the investigation has been slowed because right after the incident occurred the schools closed for spring break the following week but said the investigation will resume in earnest when staff and students return on Monday.
“No one will know the magnitude of it all because I am not allowed to talk about the discipline of students,” he said. “When the time comes, I will say what I can say under the law. Less than three hours after the incident, we have been in close concert with [New Rochelle]. We are working together as part of the investigation. There is no place for something like this in Mahopac.”
DiCarlo said the incident “regrettably reminds us that, as school officials we must be ever vigilant when confronting behavior that runs counter to expected norms.”
“The Mahopac Central School District is committed to promoting and nurturing a discrimination-free environment for its students, as well as visiting students from other schools,” DiCarlo said in a prepared statement released earlier this week. “Mahopac public schools will continue to implement and refine strategies designed to cultivate a school climate of acceptance, compassion and respect."