St. Augustine High School, a much-revered and respected academic and athletic institution, finds itself with a dilemma after a recent pregame video surfaced on social media showing someone leading the school's football team with a chant including the N-word and a four-letter vulgarity that starts with "s."
We know that some youth think it’s OK if they use the N-word among their peers. That’s a larger, more nuanced matter for another day. Under any circumstance, using such language as a part of an officially sanctioned high school football event is unacceptable.
Video shows someone leading these young men, encouraging them to say these things. That’s not good, it’s not smart, it’s not mature, and it’s not professional. It does not represent St. Aug well.
To his credit, Kenneth St. Charles, the school’s president and chief executive officer, quickly responded, launching an investigation once the video came to his attention. The probe prompted a decision to part ways with the head football coach, who was responsible for leading the team. St. Charles clearly made the right choice: school discipline and respect over incivility.
The controversy has had an obvious impact on the school. The larger impact, however, will be on the football players. They are young, but they will remember the resulting fallout longer than they will remember the chant.