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On MLK Day: Racist Bullying Cover-up In Riverside Dear Coach Rice

by Steve Zeltzer/WorkWeek Radio Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 at 1:43 PM
415-282-1908

A campaign of bullying and racist attacks on students at the Riverside John W. North High School have taken place and a cover-up of these attacks.

On MLK Day: Racist B...
riverside_john_w._north_highschool_huskies_team_at_play.jpeg, image/jpeg, 300x168

Racist Bullying Cover-up In Riverside
Dear Coach Rice,
Bullying And Racism At California Riverside John W. North High School

By Steve Zeltzer
1/16/14

When the John W. North High school spent millions on a new football stadium, new track, swimming pool and other sports facilities it did not bring any new behavior from the school staff at the school.

Single mother Cheryl Brown whose son was in the football team at California’s John W. North High school during the last school year in 203 was beginning to get concerned. She was worried that her 14 year old son was not getting enough water on the football team. Cheryl approached freshman Coach Austin about the extended practice times, players dressing in full pads, injured and forced to stand on the sidelines and extended playing in hot weather causing possibly dehydration. Her son also had a serious medical problems. Instead of getting a position response, she faced a hostile response from the Head Varsity football coach John Rice of J.W. North High School Huskies team as well as other coaches.
For a 14 year old who was the captain of the football team and starting QB, this was a hostile school environment.
This also was just the beginning of a frightening nightmare as she discovered that there was a campaign of racial, sexual curses and massive bullying going on by virtually the entire coaching staff. Instead of implementing safe practices the coaches told her she was a Momma’s boy and this was just the beginning of her efforts to defend her son.
This cover-up not only extended to the school staff but the athletic directory Mike Breyer, Assistant School Superintendent, principal Trevor J. Painton and the a member of the school board Mrs. Gayle Cloud when contacted by this reporter said she did not know about any bullying and racism issues at the school. As Brown was soon to learn all these officials were intent on covering up a burgeoning scandal of racism, bullying, abusive and potentially illegal activity.

The epidemic of course of racial and sexist bullying and harassment from high schools to the NFL is not new but a growing number of mothers and parents are refusing to put up with it despite the personal costs.

Where Cheryl went to Huskies Coach John Rice about her concerns she herself became a target. He called her son a “momma’s boy” and the torment against her son not only did not stop but escalated.

The torment with racist comments of Niggers, MF’ers, SOB’s and pieces of dirt and other racist and derogatory terms. The cursing bullying and racist harassment at the school escalated and Cheryl found that this was also going on against other students at the school football team.

In a series of emails other parents reported their serious concerns

Dear Parents,

It has been brought to my attention that our Football players have been experiencing some very concerning issues during weight lifting, practices and games. Issues such as:

1) Being called Pussies, Faggots & Ladies by Coaches
2) Being laughed at when losing games by Coaches
3) Practice times; running too long, not on scheduled times as the
Coach sent out calendar
4) Hearing Coaches say "Why are we prolonging the inevitable, we have
a losing team"
5) Parents feeling disrespected by Coaches
6) Telling our players "Get your ASS off the field"
7) Concerns about the way they are telling them to weight lift; put
lots of weight on shoulders and squat all the way to the ground.
8) The injuries in general; Knees blown out from running,
Concussions, ankle & back injuries
9) While injured the kids are told to dress out in full pads and
stand on side line holding helmets having concussions and swollen
legs. This is a form of being penalized and showing Coaches
power. Also this is not a required procedure per Mr. Brier.
10) Fear of retaliation from the Coaches for speaking up about the treatment
11) Boys (and their friends) that have left the team being harassed and haggled being called quitters and bitches

The efforts of Brown to get the school to address these concerns were about to get even more serious. Because of the bullying and racial harassment her son quite the team to end the torment. He was still in a weight lifting class and he also began to face more harassment from the weightlifting coach and other varsity players. He was also told by Coach Austin he was not welcome to come back next year. Austin later passed away.

J.W. North High School is primarily a school with working class and poor students and many of them are not in a position to change schools.
This meant that for parents who were aware of what was happening to their children they were fearful of making any complaints would also lead to retaliation and also an inability to go to another school. This was also the fear of Cheryl Brown particularly as a single mother of a student with facing racial harassment and bullying.
This was exactly what happened as he was accused by former teammates calling him light-skinned MF's and worse in the weightlifting class.
The weight lifting coach according to Brown was to point him out in a video in front of the class and call him a “ tall ass alien”.

After her son quit and became even more depressed Cheryl finally found out what he had faced from the coaches. Her concern was justified as the bullying continued and she was stonewalled by one official after another.

She even went to the Riverside police twice and they told her that the bullying and verbal harassment was not a crime.

“I am appalled and disgusted that no one from the riverside school district or north high school has let me do a formal complaint with them for the coach bullying, racial slurs, cussing, yelling, hazing....”

In a desperate act she even went to the football game to demand end to the harassment.

“when I marched onto the football field last Thursday to say the 'coach bullying will not be tolerated' and called the bullies a piece of crap... the head coach of the school Mr. Rice, The Athletic Director who is alumni and the weight lifting coach all screamed for me to get off of the field and that they were going to call the police on me!!!!!! me? a mother that is concerned for the students involved in this program and signaled to the varsity team to taught loud noises at me ...30 seconds or so on the field with a angry mom... but you have abused my child and others for hours a day for months in football practices....

Cheryl also filed charges with the US Civil Rights Commission but she was fearful that the bullying would only grow.

She decided to move her and her son out of state to end the attacks.

“I decided to move out of the state because of all the cover-up and their jeopardizing my sons future in sports at the school as well the continued bullying, intimidation and humiliation that got worse after he quit the team ... it took a emotional toll on him where iI had to rush him to the hospital.... and the refusal of the school officials to prevent me from making a formal complaint against the coaches.”

These types of incidents are unfortunately not isolated. In one incident after another the continued racial, sexual harassment and bullying of students continues unabated and those officials and government agencies that should be defending educations students many times are missing in action.

Steve Zeltzer
WorkWeek Reporter
lvpsf@labornet.org
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New Stadium But Same Behavior

by Steve Zeltzer/WorkWeek Radio Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 at 1:43 PM
415-282-1908

New Stadium But Same...
riverside_john_w._north_high_school_stadium.jpg, image/jpeg, 446x160

The new Riverside John W. North High School stadium.
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