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School Spirit or Racist Joke?

Did these New Jersey students’ costumes have a racist intent?

Some seem to think so as video spread online of two students from Holy Spirit High School dressed as a monkey and a banana during a basketball game with Atlantic City High School. Atlantic City’s team is predominately African American.

Views on whether the routine had a racist intent differed:

“I absolutely think it was offensive,” said Ricardo Belgrave as he left Friday night’s match up against the two teams. “You should know when you’re putting that costume on, it should come in your mind that this might offend African-American people.”

But not everyone agreed.

“To me it was harmless kids’ pranks, you know. I didn’t see any racial overtones to anything,” said Jack Versput.

Jermaine Baskerville said the kids were “just being silly,” but believes their parents and administrators should have stepped in.

The board of referees that govern league play said the behavior at the game “was not appropriate” and referees working the game were reprimanded. But the students who participated in the taunt will not face punishment. Instead, the students have been warned not to repeat such behavior.