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Joint Statement from Fairfax County Public Schools and Arlington Public Schools Regarding the Incident Involving Wakefield High School and Marshall High School on March 5, 2021

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See below for a joint statement from the Fairfax County and Arlington County Public Schools regarding this incident, in which “Players on the Wakefield High School varsity football team in Arlington were called racist language during a recent game against George C. Marshall High School in Fairfax County, according to Arlington Public Schools.”

Joint Statement from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and Arlington Public Schools (APS) Regarding the Incident Involving Wakefield High School and Marshall High School on March 5, 2021

The primary responsibilities of schools are to foster an open, respectful and inclusive learning environment for all students. Both FCPS and APS embrace diversity and strongly condemn hate speech and racial intolerance of any kind. The incident involving Wakefield High School (APS) and Marshall High School (FCPS) on March 5, provides us with an opportunity to take a step back and discuss how actions have consequences and that our words can deeply hurt others.

This situation has deeply affected both school divisions, our families, students, and our respective communities. In recent days, it has provoked strong emotions in both communities, and has become divisive by pitting schools against one another. This is not about one team versus another; it is about our students and how we can come together to support them and take necessary actions to ensure this situation does not repeat itself. Our students deserve better.

We are committed to growing from this situation and will strive to promote sportsmanship, respect, and fair play on and off the field. We will be working together to repair the harm done, to support our students and families and ensure we are fostering an environment both on and off the field where this kind of incident cannot happen again. Together, we ask the VHSL to join us in urging change to include mandatory diversity and inclusion training for high school athletes, coaches and officials. We also commit to provide training and education for our athletes, coaches and staff so that, together, we are all working to support students.

Scott S. Brabrand, Superintendent Fairfax County Public Schools
Francisco Durán, Superintendent Arlington Public Schools

 

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