School Investigates Claims of Racist, Homophobic Harassment During Football Game

Brockton school officials say their high school's marching band and halftime performers were subjected to verbal harassment, including racist and homophobic slurs, during a football game against Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood

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A private high school in Westwood, Massachusetts, says it is investigating allegations of harassment at a football game.

Officials at Xaverian Brothers High School received a disturbing report from Brockton High School after last Friday's game in Westwood. School officials in Brockton say their marching band and halftime performers were subjected to verbal harassment that included racist and homophobic slurs.

They've asked the state athletic officials to investigate.

No one from the schools would go on camera.

"We devoted time Monday to discussing the incident with the affected students," Brockton Public Schools said in a written statement. "Hate has no home in our schools or at school events. We will monitor the investigation closely to ensure that those responsible are held accountable."

"These allegations are profoundly troubling to us as this type of behavior is contrary to our Xaverian values, mission and all that we strive for as a school community," school officials at Xaverian Brothers said in a statement.

People NBC10 Boston spoke with were more disappointed than shocked.

"I think that these are learned behaviors, maybe in the home, and parents have to set the example first," said Joe Mitchell of Norwood.

A former teacher didn't want NBC10 Boston to use her name, but said she's seen it before where she's taught.

"There were problems with racism at different levels, and it's just very upsetting," she said. "Students shouldn't have to go through this."

John O'Shea of Westwood said social media plays a role by amplifying messages of hate.

"People who have that opinion, which I definitely disagree with, really want their voices heard, as well," O'Shea said. "It's just ignorance is running rampant, I think."

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