Tag Archive for: rolette

Davis, Finley-DeVille push NDHSAA to address instances of racial taunting

March 18, 2024

ROLETTE, ND – Today, Representative Jayme Davis (D-Rolette), wrote to Matthew Fetsch, the Executive Director of the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA), calling on the organization to step up enforcement of their zero-tolerance policy for racial taunting.

Davis wrote, “The Bismarck Tribune article published today, March 18, 2024, sheds light on a distressing pattern of behavior that not only tarnishes the integrity of high school athletics but also deeply impacts the well-being and dignity of student-athletes, their families, and communities. It is disheartening to learn once again, about instances of racial taunting, discriminatory conduct, and the failure to uphold respectful behavior in the stands at these sporting events.”

Davis specifically called for the NDSHAA to:

1. Conduct a thorough review of its current policies and procedures concerning fan behavior, racial taunting, and disciplinary actions, with a focus on strengthening enforcement mechanisms and promoting a culture of respect and inclusivity.

2. Enhance educational initiatives aimed at promoting cultural understanding among students, coaches, officials, and spectators.

3. Foster meaningful partnerships with communities, schools, and organizations to address systemic issues of racism and discrimination within the realm of high school athletics.

4. Provide clear channels for reporting incidents of racial taunting and discriminatory behavior, ensuring that victims and their families feel supported and empowered to speak out against these offenses.

Last week, Representative Lisa Finley-DeVille (D-Mandaree) wrote a letter to newspapers in North Dakota describing an incident from Feb. 9 when students from Wilton called players for the Mandaree Warriors basketball team derogatory names and racial slurs.

Finley-DeVille said, “In response to the racism, I am calling on the North Dakota High School Athletic Association to act against racism, bias, and bullying in sports. It is not enough to create rules that are not enforced. As a parent and grandparent and District 4A representative, I unequivocally condemn these behaviors. It is antithetical to the values of respect, inclusion, and fairness that we are taught to uphold. There is no place for racism in North Dakota.”