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Oklahoma City education officials seek response from Ketchum in alleged racist actions at game

Cheerleaders and basketball players from Oklahoma City's Northeast Academy said they experienced racist abuse from fans of Ketchum High School during a recent playoff game. The cheerleaders said they were spit on and that students called them racial slurs.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: March 9, 2013

About 85 percent of students are black at Northeast Academy, 3100 N Kelley, according to Oklahoma City Public Schools data.

Oklahoma City Superintendent Karl Springer said the situation was “troubling.” He wrote a letter about the incident to the Ketchum superintendent and the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

“We want to make sure that the Ketchum superintendent and the community recognize what happened, so we brought it to their attention,” Springer said Friday.

Northeast Principal Mylissa Hall also wrote a letter to Ketchum and the OSSAA, said Corpening, the school board member. In addition, the letter was sent to school board members in Ketchum, Oklahoma City, the NAACP and members of the state Black Caucus.

The incident is “disheartening,” said Corpening, who is assistant provost for diversity and community partnerships at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Parents, educators and other adults must be vigilant to ensure students understand and appreciate the history of all races.

“That's what the whole thing is about — a lack of knowledge, a lack of awareness,” he said. “That's what we as adults have to fight for.”