Randolph County Schools issues apology after incident at Wheatmore-Parkland basketball game


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ASHEBORO, N.C. — Randolph County Schools has issued an apology following an incident at a weekend basketball game.

The incident allegedly happened Saturday during a game between Wheatmore High School and Parkland High School and resulted in one team forfeiting the game.

On Monday, Randolph County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey issued the following statement:

“As superintendent of the Randolph County School System, I would like to apologize to the students, staff members, parents, and community members of Parkland High School and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System for any negative actions displayed by students or staff members from Wheatmore High School during, or after, the varsity boys basketball game on 2/9/19 on the campus of Parkland High School. I am confident that Parkland High School is a safe environment in all respects. Furthermore, I am confident that the community events that take place on the school’s campus, including basketball games, are well-supervised in addition to being fun and enjoyable moments for all individuals involved with them. Additionally, I would like to express my appreciation to the law enforcement officials and the staff members of Parkland High School for promptly and appropriately addressing the situation that took place on Saturday evening. I plan to use this event to help our students and staff members learn from this experience, and to foster a culture of respect and good sportsmanship across the Randolph County School System, both on and off the basketball court.”

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools put out the following release Monday regarding the incident:

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School officials are certainly grateful that school officials in Randolph County and at Wheatmore High School worked with us to investigate the incident at last week’s basketball game. We appreciate the apology and affirmation of a safe playing environment at Parkland High School.

After a thorough look at videos of the game and interviews with coaches, school officials, game officials, and security present at the game, we are confident Parkland High School administration and game officials handled the situation properly. A limited number of fans who approached the court were ejected from the game immediately. We believe the environment was safe and that all WS/FCS athletes followed proper protocol.

The NCHSAA alerted us today that after looking at the video, they have removed the fighting provision penalty placed on a Parkland player. Game officials have assured us the game forfeiture was because Wheatmore’s team elected to stop play, not because the game officials felt the environment was “unsafe” as characterized in early media accounts.

Like school officials in Randolph County, we plan to use this event to help students and staff continue building a culture of respect and good sportsmanship. We thank our colleagues in Randolph County for working with us to clear up any misconceptions and inaccurate accounts of the events during Saturday’s game.

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