(MARBLE FALLS, CA) – Marble Falls High School this week announced plans to investigate allegations of racist behavior by student spectators at a women’s basketball tournament on Friday.
The incident at the Texas school, which was caught on video, shows several students shouting monkey noises as Asia Prudhomme, who is black at East Central High School, fired free throws. Marble Falls High School’s student body is nearly 50% white and only 1.5% black.
“I was always taught not to pay attention to the bleachers, so I didn’t really pay attention to them,” Prudhomme, who made his free throw, told ABC News. “I was just focused on my free throws and getting my team back in the game.”
After watching the video of the incident, however, Prudhomme said she was shocked.
“It’s never happened to me,” she said. “I was heartbroken. In my head I was just thinking why would anyone do this. It’s 2022.”
Marble Falls High School principal Damon Adams said in a statement that administrators were reviewing video footage and interviewing students and spectators who attended the game to ensure a thorough investigation.
He said the school takes allegations of racism seriously and “will hold students accountable for any behavior that violates our expectations”.
“As campus director, I regret that any player or guest participating in our tournament has experienced anything from our student body that made them feel uncomfortable or belittled,” he said. “I am saddened that the behaviors of a very small number of students may tarnish the impression that others have of the incredible group of children who make up our student body.”
The Marble Falls Independent School District also said in a statement that it will continue to work with the administration of East Central High School to fully investigate the incident.
“Marble Falls ISD does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we would like East Central players to know that they have our full support,” the statement read.
Prudhomme said she was asking for a “sincere public apology” from the students who made noise. His mother Pamela Prudhomme added that she would also like to see the students suspended.
In September, the Katy Independent School District, also in Texas, launched an investigation into reports of spectators making monkey noises at Patricia E. Paetow High School’s junior varsity volleyball team, made up mostly of black and Hispanic girls, during their game against Jordan High School. .
Prudhomme, who hopes to play basketball in college and eventually make it to the WNBA, said she’s grateful for the support she’s received from her coaches, teammates and fans.
“I have a lot of love in my school,” she said. “It really builds me up to be a stronger person.”
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