There are new details of an investigation into alleged racial comments at a Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS) women’s basketball game last December against De La Salle Catholic School North.
After the game and reports of racial comments made by each of the teams’ players, CMHS Athletic Director Ryan Tompkins told the Chief,
“We are deeply troubled as a school community by the seriousness of the charges.”
Two investigations resulted in the allegations. One by CMHS and the other by the Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA). Over the past four months, the chief has contacted CMHS and OSAA for copies of the survey results, but the newspaper has not received the specific results.
OSAA told the chief that the actual investigation was completed in February. The chief contacted CMHS again for a statement and the results of the investigation. We were told the school would release a statement soon.
On the morning of April 20, Thompkins released the following statement.
On December 14, 2021, there was a women’s basketball game between De La Salle North Catholic and Clatskanie High School. Allegations of racial language have been leveled against the Clatskanie Girls basketball team, including a public Facebook post made by a (now former) member of the De La Salle North Catholic coaching staff.
A thorough investigation was carried out by Clatskanie, where they could find no definitive proof that the allegations had taken place. Following the Clatskanie investigation, OSAA hired an independent investigator to investigate the events. While the independent investigator could not definitively conclude that the alleged language was used, he felt it was “more likely than not” that racialized language was used.
Clatskanie and OSAA believe that, given the seriousness of the accusations and the level of concern expressed by the De La Salle community, it is imperative that there be improved safeguards and procedural steps to ensure that an incident such as this this does not happen again. These milestones have been set in the form of probation by OSAA. Our resolution following these events is to continue to educate and promote Clatskanie Middle High School students who celebrate differences and embrace equality around them.
Later, we look forward to the opportunity to do so alongside the De La Salle North Catholic Community.
Ryan Tompkins Clatskanie Middle High School Dean of Students / Athletic Director
After receiving the response from CMHS on April 20, the Chief sent Tompkins the following questions which he answered:
Leader: You state in the statement, “Our resolution in the wake of these events is to continue to educate and promote students at Clatskanie Middle High School who celebrate differences and embrace equality around them.” Given this event, how well is the Clatskanie School District educating and promoting students now, and what more needs to be done to help students celebrate and embrace equality?
Ryan Tompkins: Clatskanie will (and has) promoted equity and tolerance education to our student body:
– CMHS conducted implicit bias training for staff last year and will provide it to student athletes/coaches through NFHS learn (National Federation of State High School Associations Learning Center) for the 2022/23 school year.
– CMHS, with support from the OSAA Foundation Equity and Diversity Grant, presented a guest speaker presentation on equity on Martin Luther King Day.
-Clatskanie Athletics has applied to become an OSAA STAR school. This will include actions regarding the posting of signs to report fair play and harassment, communication procedures prior to competitions and the use of the PA announcer for fair play scripts.
– CSD will continue to promote equity, with its recent establishment of a District Equity Team.
-The Clatskanie School Board has been at the forefront of promoting equity and inclusion with the early adoption of the “Every Student Belongs” rule in October 2020.
Leader: What do you expect the students involved and the parents of those students to understand what happened during the game and how such alleged incidents can be harmful and should be avoided?
Tomkins: As it should be, the Clatskanie and De La Salle communities vehemently supported their daughters regarding the events of that night. Unfortunately, as the Clatskanie and OSAA investigations have shown, there is no definitive way to determine all the details of what was said. I feel for the girls of both schools and hope that these events have not negatively affected their view of social justice causes. In order to prevent this from happening again, the following measures have been taken:
1) A clearer path for reporting harassment
2) Implementation of an action policy to deal with reports of harassment
3) Clear communication routines to ensure all student-athletes are protected from feeling unsafe or harassed during extracurricular activities.
The chief contacted the administrators of De La Salle North Catholic School for an answer. The following is a response from Oscar Leong, President of De La Salle North Catholic School.
While this has been very traumatic for our girls, our coaches, and our community, I believe a lot of good has come out of it that will positively impact short- and long-term student-athletes of color in the state. from Oregon.
Very significant new protocols for ALL high school sports, game officials and how future incidents are handled were created from this specific incident.
I am grateful for the help and support of OSAA and the Third Party Investigation Team throughout this process – the voices of our girls, our coaches and our community have been heard and validated at the times by the actions required and the probation imposed on Clatskanie HS as a consequence of the incident which occurred on December 14, 2021.
OSAA’s Peter Weber told the chief that the association did not share the letter to the schools or the third-party investigation report.
“As with any situation like this involving our member schools, our efforts are focused on educating and training schools, leaders and communities to interrupt behaviors, prevent their recurrence and promote healing for those affected,” Weber said. “OSAA remains committed to ensuring that everyone involved in interscholastic activities can participate in a welcoming and safe environment and is committed to working with our members to make this happen.”
State and school officials continue to investigate the alleged racial remarks made during a Cla…
New details posted at 1:15 p.m. Dec. 17