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Area districts address allegations

South Central Calhoun, Southeast Valley investigate reported incendiary comments directed at Jaguar athletes

A joint statement has been released by South Central Calhoun and Southeast Valley administrators to address allegations stemming from last Friday night’s high school football game in Lake City.

SCC superintendent Brad Anderson and SV superintendent Brian Johnson co-authored the release, which was issued in response to a Facebook post stating Jaguar athletes had been targeted by Titan players in a “derogatory and potentially racial” manner. The author of the post, Heather Fisher, was commenting on reported remarks made toward her son, Tre Fisher, and his teammate, Kaleb Scott.

“I never expected to have such a big response from my post,” Fisher said in an exclusive interview with The Messenger on Monday. “I was reaching out to both areas for help and to let people know this was happening, and we all need to have a voice to stop it. I want to say that I own businesses in both Gowrie and Rockwell City. I never have thought this was their coach’s fault, or a reflection of the school or district.

“There are a lot of wonderful people from this area. As you can see from the comments of my post, these situations are happening in all communities — not just this one. I did reach out to the SCC coaching staff, and also talked with the superintendent early Saturday morning. I’m hoping that Southeast Valley and South Central Calhoun can work together to bring awareness and change.”

The school districts said in the statement that “both districts have been conducting thorough investigations into these allegations that have included interviews with the following entities: (Iowa High School Athletic Association) referees, coaches, players and parents.

“In addition, there has been a joint meeting held between district superintendents, coaches and additional school administrators to further clarify the facts and to identify additional roles and continued responsibilities in keeping all of our students, staff, and families safe while at school and/or school events.”

The press release also revealed a five-point outline that will be addressed as a part of the investigation in the days to come. According to the schools, as of Sunday night:

“Coaches and officials from both teams did not know what was going on during the contest and learned about the behavior after the contest via Facebook.”

“Conversation between players from both teams took place at sporadic times throughout the contest.”

“Any racial slurs and/or additional derogatory remarks made by SCC players are yet to be confirmed with specific names or jersey numbers by officials, coaches, players and parents.”

“Coaches and school administrators from both teams have taken this very seriously and will address their teams respectively.”

“Student-athletes from both teams have since reached out to one another and to opposing coaches to talk through the situation.”

The schools confirmed this is not a closed matter, and potential future consequences will be addressed once the investigation is complete. The statement concluded by adding, “we know we have much to learn as we confront racism and injustice every day. As public schools and learning organizations, we commit to listen, understand and take action on behalf of all our students and families of color across our district and beyond. There is no place in our communities for this behavior, and we will continue to embrace our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist practices to break the cycle of racism and other forms of oppression.

“In our South Central Calhoun and Southeast Valley school communities, we all belong.”

South Central Calhoun principals Randy Martin, Marc DeMoss and Nicole McChesney co-signed the release, along with business manager and board secretary Carol Collins and Wendi Geno, the equity coordinator for the SCC district.

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