Bonita Vista High School’s girl’s basketball players reportedly faced racially-charged taunts during a game against rival Eastlake High School, according to multiple sources.
The game took place on Jan. 26 at Eastlake High School, a week after BVH’s blowout win against Hilltop where senior basketball star Shyla Latone scored a CIF-record 76 points. The racial taunts, presumably targeted at Latone, consisted of stereotypical Native American “hand to mouth-chant war cry,” according to Latone’s father, Tahca Luta, who took to Facebook to call out the issue.
A video of the game posted by an unknown YouTube user following the game showed multiple Eastlake spectators on the courtside taunting Latone as she lined up for a free-throw. The video has since been taken down and the YouTube account closed.
In Luta’s Facebook post, he also alleged that school administrators who were present did nothing to stop the comments even after being “made aware.” Luta stated that he has since “chosen to walk a path to seek justice for racial discrimination within [the Sweetwater Union High School District].” An investigation has since been started after the incident was reported.
Both Latone and Luta did not wish to comment on the issue until the investigation came to a close. BVH girls basketball head coach Tristan Lamb stated that he reported the issue to administrators present at the game and the district’s Director of Athletics, Joe Heinz. The SUHSD and the EHS Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment. No decision has been made on possible repercussions for the perpetrators.
“We are going to do our best to handle the situation, make sure that it is handled correctly, and that it goes through the proper channels, and it is currently doing that,” Lamb said. “Let’s just use this as a learning experience for both schools. We want to learn from this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
This post will be updated continuously as more information is made available.