District issues apology after racial slurs

Posted at: 10/15/2013 6:02 PM
Updated at: 10/15/2013 6:46 PM
By: WNYT Staff

BURNT HILLS - The football game Saturday night was against Amsterdam, a long time rival that has a population that is roughly one-fourth Hispanic.

In the stands some spectators, presumably students, started chanting “Amster-rico”.

“On behalf of the Burnt Hills-Ballson Lake student body, I would like to apologize for the inappropriate comments that were made in our student section, during Saturday’s football game,” said Sam Bartlett, Student Government President.

“I’m disappointed in the behavior of a very few number of students. I am embarrassed…It’s something we’ve taken very seriously at the high school,” said Tim Brunson, High School Principal.

Late in the football game Saturday night, with Burnt Hills ahead, some students started mocking Amsterdam’s sizeable Hispanic population by shouting “Amster-ico”.

Latest population statistics NewsChannel 13 could find show that Amsterdam is 71% White and 24% Hispanic. Burnt Hills is 97% white and 4/10ths of 1% Hispanic.

In addition to Tuesday’s news conference apology, administrators also sent Amsterdam an e-mail apology, which was placed online.

“I think it was just…from people’s gut, ‘This is wrong. This isn’t who we are. This isn’t what we’re about,’” said Patrick McGrath, Superintendent.

School officials are giving NewsChannel 13 conflicting information about punishment for students. Earlier in the day, they said a punishment had been decided. Later in the day, they said an investigating is continuing and no punishment had been decided yet.