Santa Ana High School Principal Accuses Another School of Racism

Santa Ana High School Principal Accuses Another School of Racism
California high school disputes claims about racist signs, fan behavior at football game
A high school principal has claimed supporters and players from the school football team were bombarded with racial abuse they took on a nearby rival.

Jeff Bishop, Santa Ana High School head, took to Facebook following his sides 42-21 defeat where he told of the shocking abuse.

The Santa Ana principal told CBS2 how members of the Aliso Niguel crowd chanted Its not a good day to be Mexican now, is it?, We love white and build the wall  as well as displaying racist signs.   

Bishop was approached by his head coach, who was ready to order his team off the field if the atmosphere worsened.  

Signs were lined up at the back of the bleachers before Santa Ana High School took the field to play Aliso Niguel in a game marred by alleged racial intimidation 

Santa Ana High School principal Jeff Bishop took to his Facebook account to critique fans at Aliso Niguel for their alleged  behavior and intensive taunts

Bishop spoke to his Aliso Niguel counterpart Deni Christensen about the unfair treatment they were dealing and promised to follow with his coachs wishes.

Students chanted We love white and Build the Wall, a popular slogan among Trump and his supporters. 

After hearing chants from the student cheering section – USA-USA-USA after the first two touchdowns, morally – I could not ignore it anymore! After talking to the principal and watching her and her assistant principals snag the signs away from these disrespectful and out of control students – it seemed to help, Bishop wrote on Facebook.

Afterwards, it became more about football, athleticism and a healthy competition between two high school football teams. The opposing principal cried in disappointment after I explained that I would give her a short time to knock the racist, derogatory and demeaning behavior off, or else! 

I was happy about her response in squelching the [righteous indignation] that the Aliso Niguel Wolverines displayed tonight, Bishop added.

The first sign on the left reads We gonna TRUMP ya  among the many other signs that officials from Santa Ana High School viewed as insentivie

The Instagram account belonging to Aliso Niguel athletic department asked fans to wear red, white and blue for last Fridays game ahead of September 11 

Days prior to the game in Orange County, administrators at Aliso Niguel posted a message on the schools Instagram account rallying students to wear red, white and blue ahead of September 11.

Christensen told Univision one of the signs that was removed referenced former President Obama, Bring back Obama, and another was directed at President Trump, Trump 2020. 

But its not outside the realm of possibility that there were students in the parking lot with signs we did not see, Christensen told the Orange County Register. 

We do understand what people may have felt, Christensen added. We have deep respect for Santa Ana High School.

Santa Ana High School principal Jeff Bishop posts a lengthy Facebook message, expressing his displeasure with the treatment that was directed at his school

The school is located in Aliso Viejo, a small community of 50,000, and 19 per cent of its students are Latino, and Asians account for 12 percent of the pupils. 

The poverty rate is 18 per cent. Only three per cent of students are learning English. Farsi is nearly as likely as Spanish to be their first language.

In comparison, Santa Ana is a big city. Nearly 1 in 4 are learning English as a second language at the school and 75. 9 per cent are living below the poverty level.

Some that were in attendance took to the Santa Ana High School principals Facebook post to question his claim. 

I was sitting in the press box for the game, the whole game and NEVER heard anything you are claiming!, James Patrick Owen, a former Aliso Niguel football coach wrote.

Some ignorant teenagers who need [to be] educated, and reprimanded by school officials were involved, commented Christina Clark, the parent of an Aliso Niguel football player. That behavior is reprehensible. And it makes me so sad that your players experienced that. 

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

Aliso Niguel High Schools administration worked Monday to quell a controversy over alleged racist and provocative signs and comments aimed at the Santa Ana High football team and its fans during Fridays game at Aliso Niguel Highs on-campus stadium.

Santa Ana High principal Jeff Bishop stated in a Facebook post late Friday night after Aliso Niguels 42-21 victory that he was proud of how Santa Anas team and its coaches handled the racist welcome the Saints received as they walked into the stadium and read the posters referencing – Trump, We love White, Build the Wall and various other politically and racially-charged statements. He added that the Aliso Niguel students were disrespectful and out of control during the game.

The controversy has attracted national media attention to both schools and has been a topic widely discussed on social media since Saturday morning.

Aliso Niguel principal Deni Christensen on Monday sent an email to Aliso Niguel parents about the matter, pushing back on some of what Bishop alleged and she explained why Aliso Niguels students were dressed in red, white and blue at the game and why the students chanted USA . . . USA after Aliso Niguel scored its first touchdown, which had upset Bishop.

Theyre chanting USA like its a game against another country, like its against Germany or against Mexico, Bishop told the Register on Saturday afternoon.

Bishop said he told Christensen at halftime of Fridays game that I dont understand the USA pride thing when you score. And if I hear it one more time, I am walking off the field with the team.

Santa Ana Highs student population is more than 90 percent Hispanic. Aliso Niguels student population is more than 50 percent white with a mixture of other racial and ethnic groups.

In her email Christensen explained that Fridays football game was our red, white and blue game, where students traditionally dress patriotically in USA colors for a home football game that falls in close proximity to September 11th … This type of game is intended as a patriotic celebration and is common in Orange County.

She also acknowledged that Two signs were posted which were political in nature. One referenced former President Obama, and one referenced President Trump. When Assistant Principals and I arrived to the stadium before the game, we learned of the above potentially controversial signs and Assistant Principals removed the signs.

Bishop said in his Facebook post Friday that there were several signs that he felt were racially insensitive, including Build the Wall and We love White, and others commented on Facebook that they were also at the game and saw signs or heard comments with similar wording. As of Monday afternoon, the Register had not seen any photos from the game that showed those signs in the crowd or inside the stadium.

Bishop on Monday did not respond to requests seeking an update on what the school plans to do next about the situation or to comment on Aliso Niguels email to parents.

Christensens email added that in talking to Bishop during and after the game that … (Bishop) felt that the entire atmosphere was inhospitable to his school and community … I expressed sadness and regret that members of his community had in any way been hurt and again explained that the red, white, and blue game was a patriotic observance in reference to 9/11 and in no way intended as an affront to Santa Ana High School …  At no time did (Aliso Niguel administration) witness any overt racism, or any additional political signs other than a Trump 2020 satin banner that emerged briefly and was quickly removed from display.

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… I understand that our country is very divided right now and that this can understandably affect perceptions, and that we all need to work harder to develop greater understanding. As a high school principal, I would now like to stop further divisiveness among our high school students. I believe it is our job to bring students together during times of misunderstanding or unintended hurt, and that is my full hope and intention. I remain absolutely committed to the Wolverine community, and to supporting public education in schools everywhere for the benefit of ALL students.


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