Clarence Lacrosse Suspension Lifted

May 5, 2012 Updated May 5, 2012 at 3:21 PM EDT

By WKBW News


Clarence Lacrosse Suspension Lifted

May 5, 2012 Updated May 5, 2012 at 3:21 PM EDT

CLARENCE, NY (WKBW) - The Clarence Central School District has lifted its suspension of the girls' modified lacrosse team.

The team's suspension was announced last week in a letter from Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks to parents, in response to allegations that racial slurs were used by Clarence players in a game against Sweet Home.

Clarence Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks now says the district has new insight into the incident that leads them to believe the incident does not merit a suspension.

Hicks announced on Friday that the team's season will resume immediately, after further investigation into the incident uncovered critical information missing from the original findings. Sweet Home Superintendent Anthony Day assisted in the new investigation.

Day also released the results of Sweet Home's investigation on Friday, concluding the actions of the Sweet Home girls' modified team did not require disciplinary action.

Despite lifting the suspension, the Clarence team will still be required to attend diversity and leadership training with the National Federation for Just Communities.

Statement from Clarence School Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks Regarding Clarence Lacrosse Team:

Given additional information that has surfaced as a result of a more extensive investigation, including discussions with Clarence parents and the Superintendent at Sweet Home, we
are immediately resuming the girls’ modified lacrosse season.

It is now clear that had the initial investigation produced the critical information we currently have,

it would have given us a better understanding of the incident. It is unfortunate that the girls and our community have been portrayed unfairly. I will meet with the team and discuss how this can be a
learning experience for all.

I continue to believe that our lacrosse team can benefit from participating in diversity and leadership sessions.

We have scheduled sessions for the lacrosse team through the National Federation for Just Communities.

Press Statement - Anthony J. Day, Sweet Home School District Superintendent

This week, all 31 student members of the Girls Modified Lacrosse team as well as the coach and team parents were interviewed by myself and another central office administrator. These interviews focused upon allegations of misconduct involving members of both the Sweet Home and Clarence teams at last week’s game. At this time, I do not believe that the conduct of our students warrants disciplinary action against any individual team members or the Sweet Home team as a whole.

However, after concluding this thorough investigation, I believe that this incident provides an opportunity to reteach and reinforce the values of sportsmanship, teamwork and the athlete’s responsibilities to her teammates and other school teams. These discussions will be planned by our athletic department, implemented early next week and revisited throughout the remainder of the season. I have reviewed these findings with the members of the team and their parents in a meeting held Friday afternoon.

This will be the only statement Mr. Day and/or the Sweet Home Central School District will make regarding this situation.