BELOIT, Wis. — Two school districts are reviewing claims of racist behavior during a boy's basketball game at Muskego High School on Friday night.
A Beloit basketball team is reacting after they say they found racist messages inside a locker room.
Beloit basketball players say they never expected to see the n-word and swastikas written all over the visiting team's locker room at Muskego High School.
A parent of an athlete says he heard monkey noises and racist words from the student section at the game.
Other parents recorded video of Muskego students wearing black face masks and tank tops, outfits they say depict black people in a racist light. This happened Friday night. Beloit's head coach Todd Marks says he felt unsettled and disturbed during the game. He wasn't aware of the locker room writing until afterward. Otherwise, he says he would not have allowed the game to continue.
Beloit Memorial High School was the visiting team. Players and families said they left the game disturbed by the behavior they experienced.
In a show of support, the School District of Beloit posted a photo of the Beloit Memorial High School boys varsity basketball team to its Facebook page Monday.
"Muskego High School was not a safe environment for our children or our families," said parent Rick Daniels.
"We love our kids and to see them have to face that breaks my heart to see what they had to deal with. We stand together in solidarity against what our kids and community had to face," said Beloit head coach, Marks.
"This doesn't reflect the district of Muskego-Norway, and also the City of Muskego," said Kevin Zimmermann, member of the Muskego-Norway School Board.
Zimmermann sent TMJ4 News a video statement of his thoughts about the situation. Zimmermann urged people to wait until an investigation is complete.
"Per our district policy once an investigation is done strict discipline will be handed down if the allegations are found to be true," Zimmermann said.
"I want it to actually change because usually things like this people see it and they don't do anything about it. I just want people to see and start changing," said DeCarlos Nora, a senior basketball player at Beloit Memorial High school.
Leaders with Muskego-Norway schools issued a public statement apologizing for the behavior that Beloit Memorial experienced. It said they received the information from Beloit Memorial's athletic director.
Muskego-Norway Schools and the School District of Beloit are working together with police to investigate.
Administrators in Muskego said they are looking to improve processes to provide a space that demonstrates respect for others.
Muskego-Norway School Board passes policy requiring parental permission for student pronouns
Mary Jo Ola , Madison Goldbeck, Jan. 16, 2023
MUSKEGO, Wis. — The Muskego-Norway School District now requires parental permission before using a student's preferred pronouns and name.
The Muskego-Norway School Board voted unanimously Monday night to approve the policy.
The district requires written or electronic authorization from a student's legal guardian for changes to a student's personal information in the district's systems. This includes the student's preferred name, pronouns, gender, and race classifications. The policy says information in certain records can only be modified with documentation proving a legal change.
Several parents and students showed up to Monday's meeting with passionate opinions.
Heidi Edward is a Muskego parent of two students and has worked in education for over 20 years. She spoke against the policy.
"As a parent in the district, my child being called by a different name by their own request is not a lack of transparency," Edward said. " I see that as educational professionals following best practice of what we know saves the lives of our LGBTQIA students and helps them know they are loved and cared for...I would rather have my kids trust someone than feel they have no one."
Corrie Houston, a Muskego resident, spoke in support of the policy.
"I want the school district to assist in my child's education, not to oppose my principals or beliefs in how I should raise my child," Houston said. "The stress and anxiety related to issues such as gender identity will continue to cause problems for a teenager the longer the child has to hide the issue from parents and delay seeking guidance and assistance from parents. Hiding a child's problem or concerns from parents will delay resolution to the problem and extend the confusion a child may be experiencing."
Below is the draft policy:
"A written/electronic authorization from a parent/legal guardian for a change of a student's personal information, including preferred name/pronouns, gender, race classifications, etc, must be submitted to the District/school in order for the change to be effectuated and used within any of the operations of the district/school. Use of a commonly accepted shortened or abbreviated full name would be an exception to this administrative guideline (e.g. William to Will, Allison to Ally, James to Jim). The authorization will be reflected electronically in the District's student information systems. Information in certain District records may only be modified with documentation proving a legal change to a student's name or sex."
Waukesha and Arrowhead have recently passed similar policies.