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The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is vowing to "improve behavior at high school events" following the recent incidents of racist taunting by players and spectators with New Prague High School.

The MSHSL, which serves as the association for many of Minnesota's high school activities programs, issued a statement Thursday commenting on the "racist events" experienced by some students and communities of late. Over the past 10 days, both Cooper High School and St. Louis Park High School have said players of color were subjected to racist remarks or taunting by New Prague student-athletes and fans.

Both programs announced they won't compete against New Prague for the time-being.

Read more: More allegations of racist remarks made by New Prague student-athletes, spectators

These incidents (as well as another involving a Benilde basketball team) "tell us we as school leaders have more work to do," the MSHSL said.

"Mistreatment of anyone on any basis is not only intolerable, it is something we, as educational leaders, unequivocally condemn," the association continued. "Racial, religious, or sexual harassment is simply unacceptable in our schools."

The MSHSL then outlined a few steps it will take "to improve behavior at high school events as well as schools in general." That includes:

  • Having student groups come up with a "moral code of conduct" that will outline expected behavior for athletes, spectators, staff, students, and parents
  • Convening a student conference to "raise awareness about student conduct, bullying, gender, race and other issues
  • Developing resources for schools and administrators to help them with best practices that will eliminate this type of behavior

The MSHSL also points to Bylaw 209, which prohibits racial, sexual, or religious harassment. Penalties for violating that bylaw, however, are limited to activities suspensions, where a student loses eligibility for a period of time.

"Together, we commit to making every effort to ensure that students have a safe environment in which to learn and participate in activities," the MSHSL said.

New Prague superintendent on WCCO Radio

Tim Dittberner, superintendent of New Prague Area Schools, spoke to WCCO Radio's Adam Carter Thursday, where they discussed the district's response to the three recently reported incidents.

He repeated that an outside third party, an attorney's office, is doing an investigation into the allegations of monkey noises being directed toward Cooper girl's basketball players the evening of Feb. 15, but said things like the weather, student absences and President's Day have delayed progress on it.

"If there is, obviously, we're going to take 100% responsibility and hold those people accountable with consequences," he said. 

As for the claims at least one boy's hockey player called a student of color on the St. Louis Park team a monkey and told him to "go back to the 1860s," Dittberner reiterated what he previously told Bring Me The News — that it was investigated and "appropriate consequences" were handed down.

When Carter asked if it involved players or just people in the stands, Dittberner had to clarify, "Which one are you talking about?" before saying they're "working on repairing the harm" that's been done, including to the Robbinsdale Cooper and St. Louis Park community.

“The outcomes that we're getting obviously are not good. We need changes," he said. he said. "You know we’re in the education business, and we use that as a teachable moment for our kids about race and culture and review and improve our policy we may have, but also really to take a real negative situation and make it a positive."

St. Louis Park Athletic Director Andrew Ewald specifically addressed the idea of "teachable moments" in announcing Tuesday's decision to halt future games with New Prague, writing: "As I said when New Prague High School was applying to the Metro West Conference, 'I will not stand for your community and students to have teachable moments at the expense of our students.' Therefore, I will not tolerate or allow our students to further experience any racism while participating in athletics against New Prague High School."

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