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Baseball bat

The Waverly-Shell Rock schools administration has issued a public acknowledgement of racially charged comments that happened during a recent baseball game against Charles City and apologized to the school, the community and to the individual African-American player to whom the comments were directed.

In an email sent to the parents Thursday morning, and a message posted to the school's Facebook page, W-SR says that one of the students yelled “extremely inappropriate, bigoted comments toward a Charles City player.”

“This behaviour is unacceptable,” the statement continues. “We make no excuses, because there are none.”

School Superintendent Ed Klamfoth told Waverly Newspapers Thursday afternoon that he and his counterpart at Charles City, Mark Fisher, are working together to investigate the incident and the veracity of the comment.

"We know that news of the allegations involving racist comments during a baseball game have raised many questions," Klamfoth said. "We continue to collaborate with Charles City administrators to investigate the incident.

"At this time we are working to separate facts from rumors and determine exactly what comments were made and who made them. At the conclusion of the investigation, we will release a joint statement that confirms the findings and outlines steps for moving forward in a positive and constructive manner."

Other news outlets have reported the comments verbatim, but Waverly Newspapers is seeking to vet that information.

Klamfoth said that internal measures have been implemented to address the situation.

“We can’t undo what’s been done,” the statement reads. “But we are using this as a learning experience for the responsible party, and hope, for many others in our schools and communities.”

In addressing the incident to their parents, Charles City administrators declined to name the school where the incident happened, according to reporting by the Charles City Press.

“It’s not about putting them in bad light, “ Fisher, the Charles City superintendent, told the Press. “It’s about shining the light on the fact that our kids of color deal with this type of behavior every day of their lives.”

This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. with additional comments by Klamfoth.