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School apologizes for ethnic slur

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - Updated: 10:26 AM

BURNT HILLS -- The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School issued a formal apology on Monday to Amsterdam High School for an ethnic slur chant made by spectators during a football game this past weekend.

Several BH-BL students began chanting "Amsterico" during Saturday's game, a reference to Amsterdam's significant Hispanic population. The chants began in the third quarter, and the game was temporarily halted when BH-BL coach Matt Shell told the crowd to stop and threatened to end the game if the chant continued.

In a message posted on the school website, BH-BL officials said "disciplinary consequences" will be pursued against the students who participated in the derogatory chants. The district acknowledged the rivalry between the two schools, but said "we regret to say some of our student fans betrayed the code of sportsmanship and Spartan pride that is so important to our BH-BL community."

The message went on to say that high school administrators plan to address the situation with the entire student body, and "will use this as an opportunity to increase our efforts in teaching students the importance of diversity and citizenship."

"Parents, we ask that you join in our efforts by talking to your children about good sportsmanship and the importance of respect for others," the message concluded.

-- Staff report

     

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