Rally responds to racist remark allegedly made at Middletown/Colchester track meet

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Community activists and parents gathered outside the Middletown superintendent’s office Thursday after a student-athlete was allegedly called a racist term during a track meet.

Middletown Public Schools said it happened Monday during Middletown High School’s meet with Colchester High School. Middletown students performed a song with explicit, racist language, and one student said the Colchester coach called a player a racist remark in front of others.

“She’s an adult from a whole different school, so why would you think it was OK to playfully say, ‘You are?'” said the student’s guardian, LaToya Dickerson. “To me, that doesn’t make any sense.”

Colchester Public Schools said in a written statement that “our coach made it clear that she felt very bad that a student and their family were hurt by the interaction at the competition” and that the coach resigned from his position as coach.

“It indicates that coaching is about the kids and that the spotlight should always be on the student-athletes and not the coach,” the statement read.

Middletown Public Schools also said the incident is under investigation.

Gwen Samuel of the Connecticut Parents Union said the coach needs to understand diversity.

“I don’t even hate coach, just be a better human being, and I’m glad you’re stepping down, because we were trying to put you down, but be a better human being moving forward,” said Samuel.

The local NAACP chapter said the coach did the right thing by resigning, but it doesn’t know if the coach still has other duties at the school. Anita Ford Saunders, president of the Middlesex NAACP, encouraged students of color to “stand up, stand up and speak out.”

“Don’t be silent,” she said, “because this is complicity.”