A racially inflammatory slogan painted on an old vehicle by some students at Sturgis Brown High School has canceled the Scoopers' homecoming football game with Pine Ridge.
According to the superintendent's office, the Meade County School Board voted this afternoon to cancel the entirety of homecoming activities for this year and says they will not be rescheduled. In those cases, students will pay a dollar or two to take a swing at an old vehicle painted in the opposing school's colors. busting one of the windows will typically cost more.
"That's not what western South Dakota or Sturgis is about", Kirkegaard said.
Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said: "I can't defend those actions, but I can try my best to make sure it never happens again".
Sturgis Police chief Geody Van Dewater also said there were no credible threats of violence. He planned to meet with city council members soon to consider the options.
Wednesday night pictures started surfacing of Sturgis Brown High School students smashing a spray painted auto with sledge hammers.
"It's not about Pine Ridge".
Another picture showed the vehicle being smashed with a sledgehammer as a part of a "car bash", a homecoming tradition that the school says has not been officially sponsored for several years. "There was no value to us doing that", he said. He said there already have been some student suspensions.
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It's common for schools to sponsor some sort of "Car Smash" event as a fundraiser during homecoming week, KELO explains. "It still involved some of our kids and our festivity, homecoming", he said.
Pine Ridge School is a K-12 school serving the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This was before the game was canceled.
The kids painted the words "Go Back To The Rez" on the vehicle before smashing it with sledge hammers in an unofficial homecoming stunt. Online commenters said the letters could instead represent Sturgis Scoopers. "I want to extend my apology to the Pine Ridge School, community, families, as well as all schools in the state of South Dakota".
The Sturgis Police Department posted a statement about the issue on their Facebook page. We understand the anger being expressed towards this situation.
Said the student council: "Everyone deserves the highest amount of respect; racism is not something that should have to be tolerated by anyone".
The release continued, "We are appalled and disgusted by the racist comments that appeared on social media". He said the district is working with police to determine who was responsible.
"That's my goal", said Kirkegaard. "I've heard from people in the community".