Disciplinary action will be taken against the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School students who chanted a racial slur at Saturday’s homecoming game against Amsterdam High School, according to athletic director Robert McGuire.
During the last few minutes of the fourth quarter of the game, student spectators chanted “Amster-ico,” a derogatory term aimed at the city’s large Hispanic population.
BH-BL coach Matt Shell announced over the stadium’s loudspeaker that the game would be canceled if the students did not stop.
“It’s very upsetting to us as a school district,” McGuire said Sunday. “Our kids are out there playing the game and they’re representing the school and Amsterdam is doing the same thing. Those kids are working hard, they’re playing hard, and when you have a disrespectful remark coming out of the crowd, it’s just demeaning.”
BH-BL administrators will meet Tuesday to discuss the consequences the students will face for their actions, McGuire said.
“This is serious. We take actions like that, that have damaging consequences, very seriously,” he commented.
McGuire said he was unsure of the number of students involved but did know that it was more than two or three.
Thomas Perillo, superintendent of the Greater Amsterdam School District, said his district has traditionally had a very good relationship with BH-BL, both on and off the field.
“We will be addressing the incident with our players and students in the coming week, as I’m sure Burnt Hills staff will do as well,” he said in an email.
To support Amsterdam’s students and the entire community, faculty members at Amsterdam High School have been asked to wear purple and gold — the school’s colors — on Tuesday.