Coronado school board votes unanimously to appeal CIF sanctions


The Coronado Unified School Board voted 5-0 on Tuesday to appeal penalties imposed on the Coronado High basketball team following the controversial tortilla-throwing incident last month.

The school board’s decision comes as some residents of Coronado increasingly react against the characteristics of the tortilla incident as racist.

The tortilla throw came after a regional divisional championship game on June 19 that Coronado won 60-57 in overtime. After the game, there was an altercation between the coaches and other members of the two teams, and two students from Coronado threw tortillas at the Orange Glen team, who are predominantly Latino.

Coronado Unified’s investigation of the events did not identify any specific person or team that sparked the altercation, but concluded that there were allegations of inappropriate language from fans, coaches and players. from Coronado and Orange Glen.

Last week, the California Statewide Interschool Federation revoked the regional divisional championship title from Coronado High and placed the school on probation until 2024 after concluding its investigation into the incidents of June 19. The CIF also banned the Coronado boys’ basketball team from holding playoff contests until 2023.

The CIF has also banned all Coronado High sports teams from holding post-season competitions until all Coronado High administrators, athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes have completed a workshop on Coronado High. sportsmanship – which includes racial sensitivity training – and until all of Coronado High’s administrators and athletic directors have completed the game. management internship.

The CIF said in a statement last week that it had reviewed video evidence and investigations by local schools and school districts.

“In this case, there is no doubt that throwing tortillas at a predominantly Latino team is unacceptable and warrants sanctions,” CIF said in a statement.

The CIF decision annulled the league title; he did not attribute it to Orange Glen.

It drew praise from activists and others who wanted far-reaching consequences and accountability for what they said was a racist, or at least race-insensitive, act of throwing tortillas. Some parents and students in Coronado who said they knew the two students who threw the tortillas said that even though they did not think the students had racist intentions, Coronado still needs to acknowledge and apologize for the harm that the incident has caused it to others, especially the Latino community.

Meanwhile, many residents of Coronado were upset by the CIF’s decision and said there was no racial intent behind the tortilla launch. Coronado’s unified superintendent Karl Mueller previously refused to forfeit the championship game.

The week before the CIF decision, the Coronado school board voted 5-0 to fire basketball head coach JD Laaperi. Orange Glen basketball head coach Chris Featherly and others have alleged Laaperi used profanity among the staff and coaching staff at Orange Glen.

The decision to fire Laaperi also sparked backlash from some Coronado residents who said Laaperi had nothing to do with the tortillas, which were brought in by a Coronado resident with no direct connection to the team.

Some Coronado residents, including Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey and Coronado School Board member Stacy Keszei, said the district rushed to pass judgment apologizing and admitting fault for the incident before that an investigation is not completed.

Keszei recently asked to have his name removed from the written apology sent by the board the day after the basketball game.

“As adults we need to ‘own’ our actions, not to ‘blame’ our children, and use them as scapegoats to hide when we are not taking responsibility,” Keszei said in a statement explaining why she had withdrawn her name from the board’s apology.

The board of directors made the decision to appeal the CIF’s decision in a closed-door meeting hosted by Zoom. The board did not announce in its agenda or on its website that it was meeting to discuss the CIF decision.

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