Updates from Section VIII regarding racist incident against Elmont Memorial High School coming this week: superintendent

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Updates from Section VIII regarding racist incident against Elmont Memorial High School coming this week: superintendent
A racist incident took place in December during an Elmont Junior Varsity girls basketball game at Wellington C. Mepham High School in Bellmore. (Photo courtesy of The Island Now archives)

Sewanhaka Central High School District Superintendent James Grossane said Tuesday he is going to get more information from Section VIII, the governing body of Nassau County school athletics, about the racist incident at an away basketball game. 

According to school officials, during a junior varsity game at Mepham High School in Bellmore in December, a student taunted the Elmont Memorial High School girls with bananas and racist remarks. 

According to the New York State Education Department, Mepham High School’s enrollment is approximately 75 percent white, while Elmont Memorial’s is approximately 70 percent Black. 

The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, according to Grossane, quickly identified the responsible student, took internal action and issued an apology. Grossane added that counseling for the student and education for the school has gone on and will continue.

Tiffany Capers, a trustee on the Elmont Board of Education, said at December’s Board of Education meeting that Section VIII punishes teams for running up the score. She questioned why there is a disparate reaction between the scores of games and racist incidents, which many parents alleged happened more than once in the past to Elmont teams. 

Grossane at the time said he would take their questions and present them, and he provided an update Tuesday night at the  Board of Education meeting. 

“I promised that I would bring this up at our upcoming county superintendents meeting which was this morning, and I raised the concern that was raised here,” Grossane said. ” I brought it up to the subcommittee of superintendents and reached out to the head of Section VIII. This will be an item of discussion at their meeting this Thursday and they are going to report any updates back to me.”

The next Board of Education meeting for the Sewanhaka district will be Tuesday, Feb. 15.

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