A Dallas Middle School student has been disciplined after black football players from Meyers High School in Wilkes-Barre said they were subjected to racial slurs during a junior varsity scrimmage in August, Dallas Superintendent Frank Galicki confirmed Thursday.
Galicki, who said he could not release the student’s name, said Middle School Principal Thomas Duffy and Athletic Director Nancy Roberts met with the youth’s parents and “appropriate action has been taken.” He did not elaborate.
For the parents of one Meyers student — who said he was the target of abuse not only by one but by two Dallas players — the incident has left them shaken.
“The game was going well, then all of a sudden, we saw a shift in the attitude of the Meyers boys,” said Ronald Shivers, who asked that his 15-year-old son’s name not be used in this article. “They were definitely subdued.”
Shivers said his son and another student told him and his wife Carissa that two Dallas players responded with racial slurs and profanity following a tackle. In a brief interview with The Times Leader, the teenager said he was shocked and humiliated to hear the words.
“I felt basically like nothing,” he said.
“We don’t see color, and he shouldn’t have to be subjected to that,” said Carissa Shivers. “We don’t teach that. We don’t teach hate.”
Ronald Shivers contacted Dallas officials on the Monday following that Saturday scrimmage in Wilkes-Barre and spoke with Roberts, who, he said, told him that one Dallas student had admitted to using epithets toward the Meyers students.
Shivers said he was told the student would be made to sit out a game. He and his wife don’t feel that is adequate.
“He should sit out the year,” Carissa Shivers said. “But hopefully he’ll learn, this is not what you do.”
Galicki reiterated that his district took the incident seriously and responded appropriately. “We will not tolerate this type of behavior,” he said.
Carissa Shivers said she hopes the encounter won’t have a long-term impact on her son, who has been playing football for about eight years. “He’s good at it. I don’t want this to knock him out of it or discourage him,” she said.
The young man seemed not to have lost his passion for football as he spoke to a reporter before heading out to practice.
“I want to make it my career,” he said.