Administrators at Wilcox High School have completed their investigation into reports that some of the school’s varsity football players shouted homophobic slurs at a male cheerleader on the school’s cheer squad.
“From a disciplinary standpoint, the school has taken the actions available given the facts of the case, which range from removal from athletics to suspension from school,” said Wilcox High School Principal Kristin Gonzalez in a message to the Wilcox High School community.
The investigation was also addressed at tonight’s Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) school board meeting.
SCUSD Superintendent Dr. Stella Kemp said that they spent 140 hours investigating and addressing the incident. They also conducted 45 interviews to gain insight into what happened during the varsity football game on Oct. 18.
The school’s investigation has concluded into whether any of the players involved violated school and District polices, amongst other codes.
When the reports of bullying were first brought to the attention of the District, the District asked the Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) to conduct an independent investigation. That investigation is ongoing. SCPD Captain Wahid Kazem says the department is looking into whether a crime occurred.
The bullying gained national attention when an anonymous person created a change.org petition outlining what happened to the male cheerleader and calling on the Wilcox High School Administration to hold the football players involved accountable. As of this writing, over 7,000 people have signed the petition including many signers from outside of California.
SCUSD issued a statement tonight.
“Santa Clara Unified School District and our schools are committed to the best interests and safety of our students. We proactively work to create an environment that embraces diversity and inclusivity and we do not tolerate harassment, bullying, or retaliation of any kind,” said SCUSD Public Information Officer Jennifer Dericco in the statement. “We also have counselors and other school and District staff dedicated to supporting students who are experiencing bullying or harassment. Please let your school office know if there is a student who needs support.”
Wilcox Principal Gonzalez echoed a similar sentiment in her message to the community.
“At Wilcox High School, we will never tolerate bullying or harassment of any student. If you feel you are bullied or harassed, we are here for you. Let us know, and we will immediately support you and ensure that the behavior is immediately stopped,” said Principal Gonzalez.
The Principal also pledged new efforts to bring diversity and understanding to the Wilcox High School campus.
“As difficult as this week has been, there is also an opportunity for our school community to come together in order to work to create an environment that will ensure that every single student at Wilcox feels welcomed and embraced,” said Principal Gonzalez. “With that in mind, we will be working collaboratively with our students, staff, and families on activities and bringing diversity experts to campus to act as a resource in assisting our community in the healing process.”