In the context of controversy over tortillas, the committee calls for transparency and more youth resources
San Diego-On Monday night, the San Diego County Human Relations Committee held a special meeting to discuss alleged racially motivated incidents involving tossing tortillas during a basketball game between Coronado High School and Orange Glen High School.
This is the latest action on the incident that took place in a regional championship basketball game on June 19, in which Coronado defeated Orange Glenn, who was visiting by Escondido, in overtime. This incident attracted national attention and led to multiple investigations. The head coach of the Coronado High School basketball team, JD Laaperi, was removed in a vote by the Coronado School District Board of Education.
Committee chair Ellen Nash said that although the role of the committee is not investigation or discipline, it plays an advisory role. In this case, this means providing support to local youth and recommending actions to prevent such incidents in the future.
The public speakers attending the conference were divided on the motivation behind the throwing of tortillas at Orange Glen, the predominantly Latino team.
“Luke said there was no racial intent,” Mark Scannell said. “Once again, Luke is Mexican-American. Why do some people question his motives and call him a racist?”
At the same time, Enrique Morones called to dispute this argument.
“Racism is not determined by those who commit racist behavior,” Morones said. “Racism is determined by those who accept racist behavior.”
The committee was established in May 2020 to promote positive interpersonal relationships and respect in the county, regardless of status such as religion, gender, or race.
“We have no right to tell the school or district committee members what to do,” said committee member Pedro Anaya. “We have no right to tell CIF what to do.”
However, the agency unanimously agreed on six action items. They include:
- Write to CIF and the San Diego County Board of Education to seek transparency and action;
- Focus on existing youth interpersonal planning that received county funding in the past to determine available resources;
- Expand the youth advisory committee for district attorneys and provide youth liaison between the committee and the county interpersonal relations committee;
- Allocate financial resources, such as internal initiatives, consultants, and/or existing support for the development of youth relationships. In addition, the San Diego County supervisor is encouraged to give priority to equity planning in future budgets;
- Develop a county-wide youth leadership plan to solve interpersonal relationship issues, with the goal of formulating a plan no later than the summer of 2022; and
- Identify additional support services that can be deployed during incidents of prejudice, bigotry, and racism related to youth to provide support as needed.
CIF has been investigating the incident and is expected to make a ruling this weekend.