Virginia high school officials investigate allegations of racial slurs being used during football game

Steve Gardner, USA TODAY
·2 min read

Editor's note: This story has been updated as more information has become available.

High school officials in Northern Virginia say they have investigated allegations of players using racial slurs that led to a bench-clearing incident in a football game earlier this month.

Players from Wakefield High School in Arlington County said racial slurs were directed at them by players from Marshall High School in Fairfax County on March 5. Marshall coach Jason Strickland wrote in a letter to parents that he and his staff didn't see any of his players using racial slurs or spitting as was alleged.

"We saw it was very competitive between the two players throughout the game," Strickland wrote, according to Patch. "But at no point did we see or hear any of the accusations that are being said about our players, coaches, or parents."

Video of an altercation quickly spread on social media after it was shared by a Wakefield player alleging that a Marshall player spat on a player from Wakefield.

Marshall substitute principal Augie Frattali wrote in a letter to the community that an investigation took place and "appropriate actions were taken against individuals by the Virginia High School League from both schools." WTOP obtained a copy of the letter.

Frattalli said he worked with Wakefield principal Dr. Christian Willmore "to ensure that there will be an opportunity for the students to join together to discuss their actions and develop a plan moving forward.”

Three players on the Wakefield team were suspended for three games for their role in the altercation, but the suspensions were reduced to one game, WTOP and Patch reported.

In response, Fairfax County Public Schools said in a statement it “does not accept acts of intolerance” and that it is working with the school, the administration and coaches from both teams to address the incident.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Virginia high school officials investigate allegations of racial slurs