Burrillville High School placed on probation for unsportsmanlike behavior


BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) on Friday announced the actions being taken against Burrillville High School in response to a racial incident reported last month.

Central Falls student-athletes were allegedly subjected to racist taunts during a varsity girls’ volleyball game at Burrillville High School on the night of Sept. 24.

The Principals’ Committee on Athletics (PCOA) met Friday to discuss the incident as well as the results of the investigations conducted by the two school districts, according to the RIIL.

The league said the PCOA and school administrators agreed that the Burrillville student spectators were exhibiting behavior that was “intimidating and distracting to the opposing team” which created an environment that was “not welcoming, respectful or sportsmanlike.”

It was also acknowledged that the Central Falls team heard “culturally insensitive comments” that were “intimidating and disrespectful,” according to the RIIL.

As a result, the PCOA unanimously approved the following sanctions:

  • Burrillville High School has been placed on probation for one year for unsportsmanlike behavior
  • Burrillville High School students are prohibited from attending the next regularly scheduled home girls’ volleyball match on Oct. 16

In addition, the PCOA accepted a corrective action plan from the school administration which includes Burrillville police patrolling the parking lot after home games, administrators being present at these events and providing an escort for visiting teams, and the school holding assemblies and workshops on cultural competence.

The RIIL said it will monitor these actions and continue to support member schools in establishing and enforcing high standards of appropriate behavior at athletic events.

“As educators, it is our job to encourage ways to promote and exhibit good sportsmanship, to identify inappropriate behavior and to take steps to correct any unsportsmanlike behavior when necessary,” the RIIL said in a news release. “In addition, we expect all member schools to educate and embrace the cultural diversity of students throughout the state.”

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