Video captures fan racially taunting Ossining girls' basketball player over weekend

An investigation is underway at a Poughkeepsie Catholic high school after a video captured a fan racially taunting an Ossining girls' basketball player over the weekend.

News 12 Staff

Mar 4, 2022, 1:09 AM

Updated 814 days ago

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An investigation is underway at a Poughkeepsie Catholic high school after a video captured a fan racially taunting an Ossining girls' basketball player over the weekend.
Daisy Florez was taking a video of her 17-year-old daughter, Isabella Florez, a junior at Ossining High School, who was taking a foul shot at a game between Ossining and Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Dutchess County.
That's when a fan from the Lourdes student section yelled the name of a food referencing Isabella's Hispanic heritage. 
"For everyone in that gym to hear what was being yelled at me, I felt super uncomfortable. It just disgusted me the type of behavior people can have towards other people that they have no idea who they are," said Isabella Florez.

The game ended and afterward, several Ossining parents say they approached security about the incident.
"You're supposed to de-escalate things and remove these students at the very least and that wasn't done," said William Florez, Isabella's dad.
Ossining Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ray Sanchez says the district does not condone this type of behavior and called for an investigation.
"[We need to] ensure that we put steps into place to educate number one and to avoid similar situations in any setting," said Sanchez.
The Florez family says school officials from Lourdes met with Isabella on Wednesday, but they were unsatisfied with the response.
"It was half-hearted. They didn't seem to give it the importance and the respect that we deserve," said Daisy Florez, Isabella's mom.
"It kind of hurts because then I'm like is anybody else really going to listen to me? Is something really going to be done about it," asked Isabella.

Ketchum High School defeated Lourdes girls' basketball during their Section 1 Class AA semifinals in Poughkeepsie Thursday. The school banned students and limited just four fans per athlete to attend, according to Ketchum athletics. Wappingers school district officials were not happy with the decision to limit road fans because of another team's bad actions. 
This is the second racist incident targeted at a high school athlete captured on video in the Hudson Valley in the last month.
On February 9, a video showed students at Pearl River making monkey noises while a Black player from Nyack was shooting free throws. 
"People need to be more culturally informed," said Isabella.
Responding to the latest incident, Section 1, which oversees much of the area's high school sports, says it does not tolerate racial slurs.
Adding, "it is critical the schools involved work together...to clarify issues in their effort to seek a timely and appropriate resolution."
Isabella says this is an issue of systematic racism and schools need to do a better job of educating teens about race to prevent this from happening to someone else.
"We're a very diverse school so when something like this happens to us it kind of makes us wonder who are we to other people," says Isabella.
Dr. Sanchez says he's meeting with Lourdes officials on Friday to get an update on the investigation and steps they're planning to take to prevent future incidents.
News 12 reached out to Our Lady of Lourdes for a comment but has not heard back.  


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