Administration and staff members at San Diego’s Scripps Ranch High School are under fire for allegedly implementing racially offensive dress restrictions for a football game Friday, Oct. 24.
The Scripps Ranch football team was scheduled to play Lincoln High School, a school located in Southeast San Diego where 90% of students are black or latino. Scripps Ranch is predominantly comprised of white and Asian American students.
According to reports, Scripps Ranch administration asked students to refrain from showing up in “white, black, royal blue, or red” in fear that the colors could spark gang-related controversy. According to tweets by the school’s spirit commissioner, the colors white and black were prohibited due to racial interpretations, while royal blue and red were banned for being gang colors.
“Just because my son goes to Lincoln doesn’t mean he’s involved in any type of gangs,” a parent from Lincoln told local ABC affiliate 10News.
Many students and parents have been speaking out about the apparent classification of Lincoln students by the school administration as individuals involved in gang-related violence. Students echoed the sentiments of a tweet from a Scripps Ranch studen which read, “Scripps Ranch racism at its finest. Because someone is from a certain area, they have to be gang related. Lincoln is there to play football.”
“This is offensive to an extent. Lincoln isn’t there to be judged based on their race or to be involved in gang violence… It’s a football game and that’s what they are there for,” Nadia Delmedico, a senior at Scripps Ranch, told JSR in an interview.
She added, “I think it was a mistake getting so caught up with the colors.”
A representative from the district confirmed with reporters that school officials had discussed potential game colors with students and placed restrictions on certain colors based on racial interpretations. Yet Lauren Ruiz, a Scripps Ranch teacher and its ASB coordinator, has denied that gangs were a part of the discussion.
“It just initially started with us deciding that we didn’t want to do a ‘white-out’ just so we didn’t have any misinterpretations from it,” said Ruiz in an interview with 10news. Ruiz went on to describe that red was reserved for the basketball team and blue had already been worn to another game.
“So those were our reasons for not doing those colors, nothing gang related was even brought up in the conversation, so it just kind of got misinterpreted.”
Yet according to a tweet from the school’s spirit commissioner, he had been told by the administration that “white, black, royal blue, or red” were off-limits because they could “spark controversy.”
The school administration remains under fire from parents of both Scripps Ranch and Lincoln students as well as the community at large.