CLARK, NJ – The picture shows a black puppet, hanging by a string looped around its neck and hand, a basketball attached to one end. This puppet is reportedly what greeted players from the Plainfield High School girls basketball team when they arrived at the Arthur L. Johnson High School for a Saturday morning game, according to posts on Plainfield community Facebook posts.
“When other go low, we must continue to go high! Racism is alive and well...,” Terence Johnson posted in the The Buzz In and Around Plainfield, New Jersey. “PHS girls bball team found this in the locker at they game today at A.L Johnson in Clark!”
Johnson is the director of an AAU basketball team on which several of the Plainfield High School girls play.
Clark Superintendent of Schools Edward Grande confirmed the visiting team was lodged in the school’s puppetry room, which is located across from the gymnasium. The puppet is one that would have been found in the room, he said. He deferred additional comment to a prepared statement.
“The Clark Board Education and the Clark Community does not condone any demonstrations of intolerance,” the statement read. “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.”
A call to Plainfield coach Keshon Bennett was not immediately returned.
More on this story as it develops.