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Bridgette Wagoner

Bridgette Wagoner W-SR director of educational services

The Waverly-Shell Rock School District on Wednesday released a public statement on the outcome of an “extensive” investigation of reported racial taunts at the June 27 baseball game between W-SR and Charles City.

The full report is not public and will remain so, said Bridgette Wagoner, the W-SR director of educational services, who is also the Equity coordinator.

“Because all individuals involved are students, federal and state law prohibit the District from releasing specific findings and actions relating to this matter, but our District is taking appropriate measures in response to this incident,” the report says.

The report contains interviews with 32 individuals and transcripts as well as findings.

Wagoner told the W-SR School board at their last meeting on July 13 that the investigators have compiled 108 pages, with interview transcripts.

Several specific statements, reported as directed at Charles City’s only Black player, widely covered in the media, were not mentioned in the public release of the report.

The release of the W-SR public statement comes on the heels of media reports of the New Hampton School Board asking the Northeast Iowa Conference, to which the Go-Hawks, Comets and Chickasaws belong, to consider possible penalties for W-SR on sportsmanship grounds, including the possibility of removal from the conference.

Waverly Newspapers reached out to Charles City administrators for comment, and have not heard back by press time.

Earlier, W-SR hoped to release a joint statement with Charles City, according to emails sent to the paper, but the Wednesday’s statement is only issued by W-SR.

The statement reads as follows:

The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District is committed to providing a positive educational environment for all students and expects students to model appropriate behavior during any school-sponsored activity.

Heckling and taunting of any kind is not tolerated behavior for any spectators at our games, especially where this behavior is directed at a person or group based on race, color, or any other personal characteristic.

The District has completed an extensive investigation into reports that, at a baseball game on June 27, 2020, against the Charles City Community School District, racially motivated comments were directed toward a player for Charles City. Because all individuals involved are students, federal and state law prohibit the District from releasing specific findings and actions relating to this matter, but our District is taking appropriate measures in response to this incident.