April 1, 2022
This statement is from Tanque Verde High School Athletic Director Gary Lewis.
On October 27 last year, I became aware of highly offensive and racist comments made in a private group chat between members of our high school varsity football team. The online comments contained racist language that was disgusting, offensive and hateful. I immediately responded by shutting down the group chat, admonishing the football team in its entirety and denouncing the racist language and sentiments expressed in those private comments. Such language has no place in our community, and we do not condone or tolerate racial slurs or hate speech. Ever.
At TVUSD, we expect students, teachers and administrators to conduct themselves with honor, integrity and respect for each other at all times. This is especially true for our student athletes who represent our school and our community, and serve as role models for their peers. This is why I was so disappointed and upset when I learned about the disturbing group chat. And, although the conduct did not involve on-campus behavior which could be disciplined from a school standpoint, I made it very clear that the racist language used does not reflect our values or principles in any way, and that it must never happen again.
I am also aware that the TVUSD Governing Board and District Leadership are taking steps now to ensure that we are clearly communicating our expectations for the behavior of our staff members and students. This reinforces our collective efforts to ensure that TVUSD is a welcoming community where everyone feels safe, invited, supported and valued, regardless of race, religion, or culture.