Quakertown students throw racial slurs, stones at Cheltenham cheerleaders' bus
Date of publication: Oct. 10, 2017
By Freda Savana, staff writer
The Intelligencer and Courier Times
Quakertown High School's homecoming game against Cheltenham reportedly turned ugly Friday night, after Quakertown middle school students hurled racial slurs at Cheltenham's cheerleaders and threw stones at their bus, Quakertown superintendent Bill Harner confirmed Monday.
Harner said two male eighth-graders will be disciplined after 12 boys were interviewed about the incident. He declined to say what the discipline would be.
"We have a lot of of follow up and homework to do," added the superintendent. Any further action surrounding the event will be "learning based," he said.
Calling the matter "incredibly upsetting," Harner said he has "profusely apologized" to his counterpart in Cheltenham, Wagner Marseille. "I'm hurt and embarrassed," said Harner, who is a Cheltenham graduate. He said he attended the game, but did not witness the behavior.
Harner said Marseille offered to share his district's programs about "equity and human kindness" with Quakertown students.
The taunting began during pre-game activities in Quakertown's stadium, when the middle school students were shouting at the cheerleaders, according to Harner. He said those "immature actions" were not racial in nature. However, a security guard was placed with the cheerleaders and the officer told the boys to stop, Harner said. Some spectators said the cheerleaders were moved to another part of the field.
It was after the game, and outside the stadium, that the racial epithets began and stones were thrown at the cheerleaders' bus, according to Harner.
While the incident is a "blemish," Harner said Quakertown is a "wonderful community." In his four years as superintendent in the district, he said, there has never been a similar, racially motivated problem.
This news organization was unsuccessful in reaching Marseille for comment Monday afternoon.