People in the stands at a high school basketball game allegedly shouted “Monkey!” and the N-word at a young black player and got away with it, according to the boy’s mom.
Stefanie Dickerson recorded a Feb. 13 basketball game between Lenape Valley Regional High School, in Stanhope, N.J., where her son Nasir, 18, is a senior, and Wallkill Valley Regional High School, in Hardyston, N.J., reported NJ.com. During the game, she alleged on Facebook, people seated in a section occupied by Wallkill supporters yelled the N-word at her son, made monkey noises and yelled “monkey,” and the officials and administrators present made no attempt to restrain them.
According to Stefanie Dickerson’s Facebook post, when the people who had been shouting the racial slurs gave her family the middle finger, Nasir’s father did the same in response. She alleged that a guard with a firearm on his hip and Wallkill superintendent David Carr “aggressively” ran over to the family, and Carr said, “Get out!” When Stefanie’s husband asked the men if they were aware of the taunts, Carr allegedly said, “Get up and get out, or you will be arrested.”
“My husband was ejected and escorted all the way to the front door by the one man with the firearm on his hip,” she wrote. “Nasir’s grandmother left with my husband as well. My husband felt threatened, disrespected, bullied, singled out because of his color and embarrassed. Meanwhile, the racial slurs continued.”
Dickerson tells Yahoo Lifestyle that as she and her daughter were waiting outside for Nasir to leave the locker room, a female student told them, “You don’t belong here,” in earshot of the same guard, who asked the family why they were lingering at the gym.
According to Dickerson, the hecklers, all wearing black, targeted her son, the only black player on his team. “Nasir’s girlfriend said one girl who made the noises apologized to her, saying she ‘gets excited at games,'” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Dickerson says many people at the game witnessed the comments, including a Wallkill student who she said messaged her son during the game. “Hey, I was the Wallkill stat girl tonight and just want to let you know those girls outside are the scum of Wallkill,” read a screenshot Dickerson posted. “You played a really good game tonight!! They’re extremely disrespectful and I’m sorry your parents and you had to go through that. Wallkill isn’t like that and it’s unfortunate they represent us.”
Officials at Lenape Valley High School and Wallkill Valley Regional High School did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment. Bob Poggi, Lenape Valley’s athletic director, told NJ.com that the district is “actively investigating.”
Family attorney Eric J. Warner tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family against the Lenape Valley High School District after a white classmate strangled Nasir with a rope in 2017. He filed another complaint in January, when a school janitor allegedly asked Nasir if he was a terrorist.
After the basketball game, Warner filed a new civil suit against Lenape Valley and will file one against Wallkill later this week. “The districts violated the New Jersey Civil Rights Act and discrimination laws,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The schools have utterly failed in their duties to protect students of color. Behavior like this has been passively accepted or gone unchecked.”
Nasir has been anxious and stressed out since the game, Dickerson tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “He can’t sleep at night.”