Issaquah Students Go On Racist Rant Against Garfield Students


Man, whatever happened to calling opposing fans sons of bitches anyway?
There had better be some huge consequences for Issaquah High. If any of the messages came from kids on the team, they had better be kicked off immediately. I hope the police actually do something (like prosecute) rather than just leave the discipline to the school district.
Obviously they should be thrown off the basketball team immediately. Did they play in the game? If they did, their coach should be fired today and Issaquah should be removed from Kingco and WIAA for at least a year.

The only real question is, should the students be expelled? I'd say no, but make them pay a price. Summer school, credit required in a hundred or two hours of volunteer work, maybe? This shit is going to look really, really bad on their transcript, not that any college with a basketball team is going to care -- the UW gives scholarships to all kinds of violent felons.
They're just mimicking their parents. This racist filth is learned in the home. It figures that they vote Republican.
So, being a reporter, you got a copy of the student handbook, read up on the procedures regarding student misconduct, and discerned that what disciplinary action was taken against these shitty kids? Or you spoke with someone in the know but not bound by federal privacy laws and they told you.....?
Yeeeeeah... I grew up over there. People are assholes.
@5 FERPA laws.
Google the student handbook. Saying they disciplined the kids according to the handbook only begs the question. They could have gotten anything from a stern look to expulsion. They ought to give a straight answer.
Heavens to Murgatroyd....and I thought we had such upstanding fair minded white upper middle class parents and kids in that part of the eastside..........NOT.

Was this the same part of the eastside that re-elected drunk driving multiple DUI lady Jane Hague--who reported a college degree she didn't have--over a very upstanding African American candidate Richard Mitchell--and got the endorsement of the Seattle Times?

@4,@6 +1
I think they should be transferred to Garfield.
FERPA only prevents the school from disclosing the discipline applied to the students… you could ask other parents what they've heard, for example.
We're truly a post racial society.
@2 & 3 - the article linked states that no players were implicated.

WITH THAT SAID, I think an appropriate action for the school would be to forfeit the game, as this sort of shit reflects on the entire school. Nothing hurts a stupid teenager more than the scorn of their peers, and you can be sure that there would be more than a few very pissed off IHS players, students, and teachers ready to heap plenty of scorn on the idiots responsible for this.
10 bucks says the Issaquah kids will get off with a teeny slap on the wrist because they will claim they suffer from Affluenza.

The real problem is where did they learn such shit? Their parents. Somehow the parents ought to be held accountable for teaching hate to their children.
outrage OUTRAGE outrage

It must be more than a couple because they don't say two or three...but a "small group". Quite disheartening.
@13, oh, I saw the one that said "I'm gonna score" and assumed it was a player. Well, then. They're still identifiable. Those quotes need to be right on the front of their transcripts. Those Issaquah kids are college-bound, mostly.

A nice fat fine in a court of law for malicious harassment, with a stipulation that the student has to pay it, not daddy, would be nice.
Even more disheartening because Issaquah is the prime place for Special Olympics basketball teams to play. The level of support our team received there was incredible. That the same school has a raft of racist jackasses is just depressing.
I had a pithy analysis all typed up, but then I remembered that I have nothing insightful to say about juvenile racism in 2014 Amurka.

I saw that the game's at 7:15 tonight. this is going to get settled on the court. go Garfield!
It is unclear if any Issaquah players did participate (the My Northwest article had a photo with both schools' players). There had been trash talking going back and forth but, of course, this is not trash talk but racist rants.

What the principal said is not necessarily true under FERPA. You can certainly say what actions were taken - Garfield did when hazing occurred there - but not what students.

To note, FERPA has been changed and many entities are asking for more and more data on students including discipline records. Do not think for a minute that your child is safe. See Student Privacy Now,

The new coin of the realm for government and business is Big Data and they want every bit they can get on the kids.
Some kids are assholes. Think about something you might have done or said at 16 that you find abhorant now. The difference is Twitter lets everyone hear it.

Should the kids involved be punished, totally. Should we ruin their lives because of this? It's why we don't treat children as adults, mostly.

(Yes, I'm aware that possibly some of these kids may have had their 18th birthday already.)

A rival school from my youth that was largely hispanic were know as La Cucaracha by other schools. We thought it was hilarious at 14. I now know that was fucked up. Sorry guys.
The WIAA rules are very strict.I hope the Issaquah School Board knows about this transgression...
If the school had an ounce of class, they would voluntarily forfeit the game (without being forced to).

A certain amount of spirited trash-talking is to be expected. But when you start throwing around the n-word and turning it into a racist rant, that's just being a racist asshole. That kind of behavior should be completely inexcusable in a public school.

I don't support criminal action, but the students involved should be required to take a course in black history before being allowed to graduate. And certainly if any of the athletes were involved, they should be ejected from the team.
FERPA doesn't allow the district to tell you the details of what disciplinary actions (if any) were applied to specific individuals- not what actions (if any) were taken. I understand administrators' desire to brush off press inquiries. I don't entirely grasp why the journalists were apparently so easy to brush off.

@4, @6, @9: -1. There's a name for the kind of thought that leads to blaming the behaviour of individuals on an entire group. Do you know what that name is?

As @22 observes, kids will be kids. Part of that is trying out reprehensible behaviour. Some of the stuff I did turns my stomach today. Thankfully, it wasn't tolerated by others. If only Ted Nugent (for example) had run into some stiff resistance, we might not have to listen to that kind of crap come out of an adult mouth today. Stiff resistance and measured response FTW.

Wow, no apologists for the poor, put-upon future Ivy Leaguers? Come on, suburbanites, show us your true colors! WHITE POWER!
I bet all these Issaquah kids are huge Seahawks fans too, whose roster is at least 80% black.
The letter the school sent to the parents is infuriatingly milquetoast: "We found the tweets referred to by the media to to be offensive."

Really, you "found them to be" offensive? No. Nuh uh. This is not a delicate situation and it does not require tip toeing. They straight up WERE offensive to any right-thinking person, no question about it, no need to cloak your statement in pseudo-objective language.
The WIAA rules don't really seem to apply. It talks about participants, coaches, bands and spectators during competition. Students not attending a WIAA event being assholes on Twitter doesn't look like it falls under WIAA authority.


@fnarf: In the interest of properly assigning blame:

According to Issaquah High, none of the varsity basketball players were involved in the racist taunts that police are calling "hate speech."

Hey, not to be a total dick, but there's an awful lot of stereotyping of Issaquah going on in this thread. I mean no one has come right out and called anybody a cracker but...

I mean we're all rightfully angry about how Issaquah students look at Garfield students but can I assume we're all adults and a lot of you seem to have a preconceived notion of what every student at Issauqah high must be like?

No, this is not a complaint about poor persecuted whitey just pointing out a common thread in the thinking.
Just noting that Issaquah had 11 National Merit Semi-Finalists this year. Garfield had 14.

Or as we used to say, "that's all right, that's OK, you'll be working for us someday."

I'm also noting that Issaquah had no alumni win a Grammy this year.
Yeah, Fnarf, I would have been very, very surprised if basketball players were involved. I'm not saying that there aren't ball players that are racist (there most certainly are) but generally speaking, basketball is way more integrated than the rest of society. Even if the Issaquah team is all white and the Garfield team is all black, they no doubt play with other players at some point who cross the racial divide (unless they really suck).

I was rooting for Garfield anyway, but now I hope they crush them. I also hope they crush them in chess, and debate and every other mental contest, while a top notch musician lays down an awesome base line (as they have in the past).*

* OK, when Garfield has won state in chess and debate an awesome base line wasn't being played, but when they won state in basketball it definitely was.
32 - straw man argument. No one here has damned the entire student body or town. We're all talking about a few students who said some incredibly terrible things and frankly, should be punished.

See 4, 9, 19, 27


Cue some jackass ranting about affirmative action in 5...4... (joke people)
I've lived and worked with teens in both Issaquah and the Garfield area and I'd much rather deal with the Garfield kids.
@36, you take this way too broadly and personally.
Um, you know, when your boss comes across this crap, he provides us with an email address to the appropriate authorities at the schools to make sure we can express our own feelings on the matter.
@29: “The posts were highly offensive and inappropriate and are not representative of our student body,” the Issaquah principal said.…
@36 I live in Kirkland, totem lake specifically. The poor part. The east side has race issues boiling underneath it that should be called out. Those kids certainly aren't original in their use of racial intimidation to get what they want under the guise of healthy competition. I'm sure mom and dad had some choice words for Richard Sherman after he interviewed post 49ers game.
Are these taunts offensive yes, should there be punishments yes are these kids racists? I think white stupid may not be really racist just trying to poke the other team hard and went the racial route. Somtimes HS kids are really stupid and should face consequences but most will grow out of this behavior.
The great thing about the story in 40 is that it is followed by a kid going to Ole Miss, whose nickname refers to the wife of the slave owner.…
@ 41 Why would they most are probably Hawks fans. As a minority living on the east side think we may not be post racial but pretty damn close.

Like I said above these kids were tying to be clever and taunt to shock but ended up being stupid.
# 41 Lot of what you experience may be more class than race issues.
Just like xbox live, lol.
NBA players from Garfield: 3
NBA players from Issaquah: 0

I have no doubt the Bulldogs will humiliate them on the court :)
I think of things like this everytime someone tells me "the millenial generation is less racist than older generations...lets just wait for the old bigots to die off and racist will go away!"

No, the old bigots teach their kids their bigotry. And those that arent taught that way learn it from their peers. America is more segregated than it was in 1986. Odds are these kids see black people the same way many, if not most white people in the Seattle metro do. As dangerous criminal stereotypes.

Ive yet to meet a black person in greater Seattle who doesnt experience regular instances of 'purse clenching' or 'frantic walking in fear' or 'refusing the elevator/to get in car in parkinglot' in front of black people. And thats not even counting the bullshit we deal with from law enforcement or store security. I could give pages of stories.

Its pretty much like this EVERY day. Yet every white person you meet in Seattle swears to god they dont know any racists, or (worst) those 'racist' things their friends say arent indicative of actual racism, its just 'guys/girls joking around...they arent racist...Ive seen them hold a door open for a black lady once!"

Anyone remember this?…

Issaquah High School: disgusting since at least 1997.
@42, "grow out of this behavior"? Why should they, if there are no consequences that have impact past their high-school days?

"As a minority"...ever notice that people who give vague disclaimers are usually proving the opposite of what they are saying?

As a black person (not vague 'minority'...different 'minorities' get treated with different levels of hate) who spends and has spend a lot of time on the east side, no, it is NOT 'post racial'. Its pretty damn racist.

Sure, its not northern idaho racist. But if you are black, the majority population treats you with an odd combination of curious derision and hateful-but-polite suspicion. Very similar to the rest of the region.
All my past experience with the ISD tells me that they do not take discipline seriously. I'd bet these kids didn't have any consequences at all worth mentioning. It's disgusting.
Garfield 61
Issaquah 59

Suck it racists.
Their names should not be made public if they're minors, but the students responsible should definitely be expelled. I graduated high school in 2004 and saw people expelled in their senior year for less than this. These kids fucked up big time and need to pay the price.
Adolescents are stupid and deliberately provocative. And social media has given them the tools to do so. And it's the adults fault. Kids are no more worse than they ever were. Race and politics really have nothing to do with it in the final analysis. It's about maturity. Social media and pop culture (for better for worse) are the tools we've given adolescents to shock and outrage us to their insatiable delight.
I agree phoebe, but the racial element in this case is appalling and a lack of punishment focused clearly on the racism would be a worse mistake than no punishment.
Crime and punishment. I'm not down with ruining people's lives for being shitheads and acting stupid. Whether it's drunk driving or racist comments or selling heroin, you shouldn't throw up obstacles that people could potentially not be able to recover from, like an expulsion, because they made a bad choice.

They're kids. They're shitheads. It's what they do.
Granted, I am old. And this sort of idea probably comes under the heading of "too little, too late", but in my high school days they had a program where we went to other high schools for a day to see how they operated. It was an idea they came up with because there were two high schools in my lilly white Iowa town, and we were fierce rivals, which resulted in numerous parking lot brawls. So the district decided that if we saw how "the other side" lived, we might not be such jerks. Several inter-school pregnancies later, it was declared a success.

Later, they expanded the program to Omaha schools where there were (gasp) minorities, and to me, that was where the real success was. Some of my classmates had rarely (or never) been to Omaha because their parents were so afraid of "the blacks", so having black and latino kids (always with a "buddy" from our school to run interference) really made important inroads. And the opportunity to go to a majority minority school was a real eye opener on lots of levels. (I, for one, never realized the difference in both facilities and educational opportunities between my school and inner city schools until I went to one of the poorer Omaha high schools. On the other hand, my day at one of the affluent suburban schools was just as surprising.)

Programs like that didn't eradicate racism. You still had kids that were so steeped in fear and ignorance that you heard nasty stuff from time to time. But I think it helped stop the instinct towards racist groupthink which an otherwise all-white, all middle-class school in the middle of nowhere might tend to have. Think of how a program like that could work here.

See Doug Merlino's book, The Hustle
for similar sorts of antics at Lakeside:

Lakeside students had a cheer they chanted when their sports teams were losing to an inner-city team: “It’s all right, it’s OK, you’ll all work for us someday.”
It's funny to see all the butt hurt people here... You don't want freedom of speech? Even though what the kids said was bad it was their constitutional right to say it. Did you show what the kids from Garfield said? didn't think so... reverse racism at its finest
My son played basketball and football for Garfield a few years ago. He and his teammates were often jeered and racially taunted, mostly at suburban schools like Issaquah and Bothell. At times, even adults (parents?) and young preteen kids would join the chorus of "Nigger go home" and "go back to the hood." It offended and hurt my very white son and infuriated me and other parents. Still does.
@4: Yeah, I can understand the parents not hearing what their kids are saying at school, but their social media profiles are probably public.
Self entitled kids that probably never ventured outside there comfort zone without a school bus or BMW. I'd like to see them pull that crap on Garfield turf. Brave on social media, nothing more. I bet they're pulling the "free speech" card. Its disgusting. Hear that, Issaquah? Thoae kids need a lesson by facing consequences for their vile racist stupid comments.
KICK THEM OUT OF SCHOOL! I'm sure they can find a charter somewhere that will take them.
@63: I don't think violence is really going to solve the problem of entitled racists.
does a public school have the right to police thought and speech after hours on people's free time?

what laws were broken by these morons from Issaquah?
@59: Read about something similar in Oregon, I think with Oregon City and West Linn. The OC fans would chant "Daddy's Lexus," while the West Linners would chant "We all graduate." Of course most everybody in both towns is white, so it has less of an edge to it.
A few kids make a few racist taunts on twitter. Oh the humanity! It's like a Klan march!

Just expel the brats and let them be their parents problem. Volunteering and black history classes are wasted on them. The only thing these brats would do is snicker at the fools trying to teach them empathy. Teenagers are too self-absorbed for any real personal growth.
My high school alma mater, Evanston Township, has a long-standing rivalry with New Trier, a school a little ways to the north. They're a little richer and a lot whiter than us, demographically speaking, and we hate their guts. I remember during my time at ETHS there was an outbreak of whooping cough at NTHS, and when we played them at basketball, all the Evanston fans showed up wearing surgical masks.
This is going on at EVERY school in Seattle. I've worked at several schools [several elementary schools and 1 k-8]- ALL of which had mostly "minority" populations in lower income areas and this type of talk is happening at every age and being done by EVERYone, black, white, etc. everywhere It just doesn't matter. This is what society is largely devolving to. Look at our popular culture- music especially, but tv, sports, movies, and particularly the internet. The world has changed and just not for the better. With the stuff I see IRL, I'm not surprised by what I hear about online anymore.
@63 Most of these students are from the City of Sammamish, which is the highlands above Issaquah. They come from mostly above average income families and are certainly "entightled". Check out the parking lot at Issaquah High some day and look at all the B.M.W's and Mercedes and Lexus cars that these kids drive to school. These cars don't belong to the teachers, they are gifts from their parents and status symbols to the kids that drive them every day. They should all have to ride the bus until they graduate.
Garfield wins state! Scoreboard, baby. Congrats Bulldogs!!
@72 Sammamish students are generally going to Skyline High, not Issaquah High.
Posting these kids names would be an appropriate start of their punishment.
Posting these kids names would be an appropriate start of their punishment.
The claim that expulsion will "ruin their lives" lacks perspective. Expulsion exists as a consequence for situations just like this one.
In Portland Public Schools, there is a rule that if, within 60 days of graduation, a senior gets suspended, they don't get to walk at the ceremony. It's a pretty big deal for a lot of kids--that might be a good route here. Younger kids also suspended.

The choices aren't Nothing vs Expulsion--there's a lot of room in between.

For those arguing about how the kids were on their own time--again, this is Portland, and Washington may have different rules--if an action a student takes off campus and not during school hours affects or disrupts school activities, they can be punished. The big example is a fight on Saturday, where the drama carries over into the hallways on Monday.
@58 -- Excellent idea. I think it would shock the Issaquah students to realize that:

Garfield has poor facilities compared to the suburbs. The buildings are old and there are less of the niceties that are found in wealthier areas. However:

The neighborhood is not that scary. The teachers are, for the most part, better. They attract the best in the state. There extracurricular activities are outstanding. Not just in sports, but in music, drama, debate, art and chess. It has been this way since the 1970s (before busing). Partly it was because the city (and school board) made a huge, expensive effort to hire lots of top notch young teachers. Partly it was because Garfield is unusual in that it is very close to Montlake, which is the bedroom community for the UW. In other words, the children of UW professors often go (and have gone) to Garfield. All of this explains why Seattle's slums were never as scary as many found around the country.
@26: If the group is small enough, information about identifiable individuals can be inferred from information about the group => FERPA violation. It looks like this group is small enough.
Well I guess those little Issaquites would have a field day with us here in White Center.
I am grateful every day for my diverse community and the fact that my daughter has grown up and is finishing highschool with friends who are citizens of the world and not elitist little spits. You go Garfield!