Lexington City Schools ends monthslong middle school athletics ban of Davidson County Schools over handling of racist rock

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Lexington City Schools (WGHP file photo)

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LEXINGTON, N.C. — Lexington Middle School will once again compete against Davidson County Schools months after Lexington City Schools banned athletics competitions with the county district over its handling of racist vandalism.

In August, someone painted a racist message on a spirit rock outside of South Davidson High School and it spread on social media.

As a result, LCS Superintendent Anitra Wells decided to pull South Davidson Middle School from the Lexington City Schools athletic calendar citing safety concerns.

Davidson County Schools Superintendent Emily Lipe responded by removing all games against Lexington Middle School.

On Tuesday, Lexington City Schools announced that the two districts will compete again.

Some stood behind Davidson County Schools, while others say the district did not handle the racist message appropriately and should have spoken publicly against it.

In August, Wells released the following statement:

“The superintendents and several administrators from both the Lexington City Schools and the Davidson County Schools collectively met this morning to discuss the Lexington City Schools’ prior decision that we will not play any South Davidson Middle School athletic team this year because of previous racially charged incidents. As a result of that decision, the Davidson County School district has made a decision that no Davidson County Schools’ middle school athletic team will play Lexington Middle School.

“The meeting was facilitated equally in a respectful and professional manner with both districts being able to express their thoughts and feelings concerning these decisions. However, Lexington City Schools did not find any evidence or discussion that supported a change in our decision. We will stand by our initial decision that no Lexington Middle School athletic team will participate in an athletic contest against South Davidson Middle School during the 2019-2020 school year. We are now actively in talks with multiple surrounding school districts in an effort to fill the vacancies that now exist in our middle school athletic schedules.

“The Lexington City School District realizes that there are many in the South Davidson School community who condemn racial bias and will work hard to address the concerns raised during these talks. We have hope that these issues can be resolved in the future.”

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