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February 12, 2013

Blackout costumes cause stir at grade school basketball game

Principal, superintendent don’t think students meant any harm



Griffin said he called the parents of the children wearing the costumes the next day to explain why they might have been seen as inappropriate and met with his guidance counselors to draft up new policies for spirit days to prevent any further confusion.

Andrew Melin, superintendent of Greater Clark County Schools, said he’s never seen anything like that happen during his time as a superintendent, but also said he was satisfied with how Highland Hills and its district handled the situation.

“I think, at least in my experience, it’s very unique for that to have occurred,” Melin said. “I guess what I’m appreciative about is that officials in New Albany-Floyd County at the school and at the corporation level did a really good job of responding to it. Sometimes, kids will be kids and they don’t always understand the ramifications of what they do.”

He said working with the district led to a solution they found amicable.

“Once we made them aware of the concern, they reached out to our administrator at Parkview to apologize for the situation that occurred and they also assured us that they would be dealing with the students that were involved,” Melin said.

Griffin said he didn’t think the students meant the costumes to represent racial slurs, but he called each one and their parents to explain why they might have been interpreted that way.

“I don’t think a 12-year-old would consider that as something offensive, but I can understand how someone else might see it that way,” Griffin said. “It was a healthy, competitive environment, and if I thought it was anything less, I would have done something to avoid some toxicity.”

Highland Hills won the game, 34-29. 

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