STANWOOD – Lakes High School football players and cheerleaders were racially taunted and called out the n-word during the team’s road playoff game at Stanwood High School on Friday night, both by the student section of Stanwood and players of the Stanwood football team, according to witnesses. The game was a Week 10 playoff against Stanwood.
In a Facebook post, Claire Dade Johnson said her daughter, a Lakes High School cheerleader, was called the n-word in the girls’ bathroom by Stanwood students.
“I am proud and sad to post this because as hard as we try as parents to protect our children from this type of hate, all we can do is pray that they take the high road and choose the love,” Johnson wrote in the post. .
Reached by phone Monday morning, Dade Johnson said several girls followed his daughter and other Lakes cheerleaders into the girls’ bathroom, stared at them, and called them “f-ing n-words.” .
“One of the (lakes cheerleader coaches) said, ‘You’re better than that, let’s go,’ Dade Johnson said. “They said they were going to rewatch the tape and see who followed the daughters during this time and would follow up with those people.”
Also reached by phone Monday morning, Lakes head football coach Dave Miller said the n-word was directed at his football players during the student section’s pre-game warm-ups and by the players of Stanwood football during the game.
“It was pretty widespread,” Miller said. “The student section was shouting the n-word at our players. Our coaches heard it throughout the game from their players. It was bad. … I hope it’s not representative of the whole community and it’s just isolated people who are very ignorant.
Miller said he and his coaching staff had to take players out of the game several times to calm them down because of the racist language.
“During the game it was happening a lot on the pitch,” Miller said. “We had to calm down a lot of my players who were having trouble keeping their cool, because they’re not used to hearing that. It’s sad that in 2022, we still have people who want to judge people on the color of their skin.”
In an emailed statement to The News Tribune, a Stanwood-Camano School District spokesperson said they were aware of the incident.
“The Stanwood-Camano School District has been made aware of a social media post regarding racist comments made during the Stanwood-Lakes football game on Friday, November 4,” the statement read. “We take allegations like these seriously. We are in the process of gathering information on the allegations and will update our community further when possible.
“I am heartbroken by this information. The district will conduct a thorough investigation,” Stanwood-Camano School District Superintendent Dr. Deborah Rumbaugh said.
Any updates will be posted on the school district’s website (stanwood.wednet.edu) and social media accounts, the spokesperson said.
Dade Johnson said she just wants people to be held accountable.
“It’s very sad,” she said. ” It’s discouraging. My child has done so many things that have been positive, helping others. It’s so sad. … I only posted it because I want them to follow up with the students. I don’t want him to go away, to be swept under the rug. I want them to be held accountable.