A recent letter to the editor has been published in several newspapers around the state of Idaho, accusing players and fans from the Salmon River School District of using racial comments to insult players on the Shoshone-Bannock girl's basketball team. The alleged incident took place during a game on February 15.
In the letter, Donna Thompson states that players and fans from Salmon River told Sho-Ban athletes to "go back to the reservation." Several Sho-Ban fans were also allegedly subjected to racial taunts from Salmon River fans as well.
Upon the letter's release, several media outlets have picked up on the story. In an interview with Justyna Tomtas of the Lewiston Tribune, Salmon River Superintendent James Doramus stated that the school looked into Thompson's complaint, but did not find anything to substantiate the claims.
"We do not condone that type of behavior, and we will continue to address proper sportsmanship and behavior from both our fans and our student-athletes," said Doramus.
Ty Jones, executive director of the Idaho High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), stated that a member of the school district must report the incident to initiate an IHSAA's investigation.
In his interview with the Tribune, Jones acknowledged that the association had received letters with similar allegations, but that he had yet to review the letters himself.
Jones states that neither letter intends to be from a school district official.
The IHSAA has the task of contacting member schools involved to find out if any rules or regulations have been broken. The offending school district then handles punishments accordingly.
According to Jones, the association will sometimes step in to ensure action is taken.
"Normally, we don't like to deal with punishments, or have the mind to go there first, because we are in the education business, so we'd rather educate than punish…but schools have been put on probation and fined before."
In a statement provided to the Tribune, Allen Mayo, principal at Sho-Ban high school, said that several people have voiced concerns, but that the Sho-Ban school district has yet to file an official complaint.
The Sho-Ban school district is expected to discuss the issue at Tuesday's school board meeting.