Camas students are likely to employ 'inappropriate language' against the Benson girls basketball program, according to the findings

Camas students are likely to employ 'inappropriate language' against the Benson girls basketball pro ...

A consultant has concluded that it is "not possible" to determine whether racial insults were directed at Benson High School girls basketball players by Camas High School students after interviewing over 50 people.

The investigator, Gay Selby of Educational Service District 112, found that Camas students "improved proper language."

"It is impossible to make a clear conclusion that racial slurs and/or inappropriate gestures were directed towards the BHS girls' basketball team," Selby said of the study, which was published January 20. "It is not possible to make a definitive conclusion that racial slurs and/or inappropriate gestures were directed towards the BHS girls' basketball team... I did not observe any such conduct in the videos I reviewed."

Racial slurs were directed towards Benson players, according to Selby. Although Selby was not able to independently confirm the allegations through interviews with other participants at the game or video, the investigation could not definitively confirm whether slurs were used.

All members of the team who were interviewed for the investigation from Camas, including students, parents, and faculty, denied hearing racial slurs used. Others from the Camas instead chose to focus on the Benson players kneeling for the National Anthem before the game.

During a timeout, Benson players told Selby that they heard racial insults coming from the Camas student section, while they fleeeeeed the court for warm-ups, and again later in the game from a similar area of the student section in a male voice. That second incident prompted Knox to cross the court toward the Camas student section during a timeout before being stopped by officials.

"During play and timeouts, a number of my players informed me one-on-one that they were hearing people from the student section using the N-word to taunt our players," Knox wrote in his original letter to the Camas School District.

Selby offered six suggestions to the Camas School District's leadership:

Because the game occurred in Washington, the Oregon School Activities Association was not responsible for conducting an investigation, however, it is in the process of investigating racist taunts.

The same school that allegedly faced racism in La Grande Gladstone alleges that its boys basketball team was the subject of as well. Those allegations include a student wearing blackface and monkey crazes made by white Molalla students aimed at Gladstone-black players. are participating in an independent investigation into the incident.

Neither Knox nor OSAA director Peter Weber immediately responded to The Oregonian/OregonLive's request for clarification on the Benson-Camas investigation. Further information will be added to this story if and when it becomes available.

Ryan Clarke, rclarke@oregonian.com

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