The investigation into the use of racial slurs against an opposing team by Pittsburgh student soccer players has ended with the strangest resolution.
In response to athletes from the Connellsville Area School District likely racially taunted their opposing team members at Penn Hills during a September 6 soccer game, one of the districts responded by employing armed officers at their games, and it’s not the school you’d reasonably suspect.
According to Pittsburgh’s Action News, Connellsville began sending armed school police officers to away games for both the soccer and volleyball games at Penn Hills.
“In the original complaint, the kids felt verbally attacked,” Penn Hills Superintendent Nancy Hines told Trib Live. “Nowhere have I read or what I’ve heard was there any reference that someone was going to hurt somebody. Now, where is the threat? And for a volleyball game?”
In an email Hines sent to Penn Hills parents, Hines went into greater detail about her confusion regarding Connellsville’s decision.
“I expressed to the officers directly that they were welcome on the site, but I did not believe their presence was necessary, especially since no fans were permitted to watch this particular competition,” Hines said. “These unified and armed officers were extremely polite and confirmed they were on duty.”
“In my mind, I just think about this from the psychological point of view. Why would you now start imposing this model?” she continued. "Either it's some type of intimidation tactic — I sure hope that's not the case — or you're genuinely afraid, and if you're genuinely afraid, why are you coming here? It just makes no sense. It shouldn't be this tough; it shouldn't be this difficult.
Meanwhile, Connellsville Superintendent Joseph Bradley forwarded a statement to Pittsburgh’s Action News, saying:
“We welcome WPIAL to examine our long-standing use of school personnel at appropriate away events,” Bradley said. “The use of those school police officers has been done for a variety of reasons and is not unique.”
Penn Hill’s superintendent argues that Connellsville’s school officers only attend their games, while Connellsville’s superintendent vaguely explains the officials only attend certain games.
Tensions began when Connellsville players were accused of using racial slurs. Ater hearings were held, investigations concluded that while the students likely did use the racial language, there was no way to be sure, Pittsburgh Action News reported.
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