Principal apologizes for students' racist chants during basketball game

Elder High School principal Kurt Ruffing said Tuesday night school officials stepped in as soon as they heard Elder s...

Posted: Feb 7, 2018 6:18 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 6:18 PM

Elder High School principal Kurt Ruffing said Tuesday night school officials stepped in as soon as they heard Elder students shouting racist and homophobic chants at St. Xavier basketball players during a Friday night game.

Mina Jefferson, the mother of one of those players, said otherwise.

"If no one complained, I have to wonder what would have happened," she said.

The facts, as recorded on video, are these: Students in the Elder cheering section directed the offensive chants toward black and Asian players. School officials tossed one of the students out and disciplined others.

"I was very shocked," Ruffing said of the students' behavior. "My heart sunk."

Jefferson claimed the cheering continued into the third quarter; Ruffing said teachers took action as soon as they realized what was happening.

Either way, Elder students spent part of their Tuesday in an assembly addressing the incident. Elder athletic director Kevin Espelage sent a letter to St. Xavier parents like Jefferson to express his regret for the students' behavior.

"As an Elder Alum, Elder employee of eighteen years and current athletic director, I am appalled and disgusted by what took place last evening," he wrote. "Our choice of words and chants are unacceptable in any setting; moreover, any level of society."

Ruffing said the school planned to take a group of students to visit St. Xavier on Thursday and apologize for the racist language used on Friday.

"What we did was wrong, and we will not do it again," Ruffing said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22464

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7540565
Ramsey2610103
Stearns198412
Nobles14883
Anoka126259
Dakota118244
Olmsted57510
Washington56230
Kandiyohi4751
Rice4112
Clay40625
Scott3792
Todd2960
Wright2691
Sherburne2192
Mower2161
Carver1852
Benton1692
Steele1480
Martin1265
Blue Earth1221
St. Louis11513
Freeborn970
Pine850
Winona7815
Nicollet747
Carlton730
Cottonwood650
Otter Tail620
Unassigned6110
Goodhue603
Watonwan590
Polk592
Crow Wing571
Itasca537
Chisago501
Dodge460
Chippewa441
Meeker440
Le Sueur431
Morrison400
Douglas390
Jackson390
Becker370
Murray360
Lyon360
Isanti330
McLeod290
Waseca240
Rock210
Swift170
Pennington170
Mille Lacs171
Fillmore171
Wabasha170
Brown142
Faribault130
Beltrami130
Sibley130
Cass122
Norman110
Wilkin113
Kanabec111
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Pope80
Wadena80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Renville50
Mahnomen51
Red Lake40
Traverse30
Big Stone30
Clearwater30
Redwood30
Grant30
Lac qui Parle30
Houston20
Lake10
Hubbard10
Roseau10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18342

Reported Deaths: 496
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3876115
Woodbury265831
Black Hawk171343
Linn93876
Marshall87815
Dallas87317
Buena Vista6820
Johnson6058
Muscatine54741
Wapello5384
Crawford4882
Tama40026
Scott34610
Louisa33610
Dubuque33016
Jasper25716
Pottawattamie2277
Sioux2100
Washington1858
Wright1240
Allamakee1194
Plymouth1191
Warren1140
Story961
Poweshiek888
Mahaska888
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines581
Boone560
Taylor480
Cedar461
Guthrie443
Clarke400
Benton391
Jones360
Iowa360
Monroe354
Shelby350
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Osceola310
Marion300
Webster291
Hamilton280
Madison261
Fayette260
Monona240
Lee230
Cherokee230
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Davis200
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Lyon190
Grundy190
Floyd181
Sac170
Mills160
Hardin150
Butler150
Delaware150
Humboldt140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Hancock140
Appanoose133
Jackson130
Dickinson130
Clay130
Greene130
Howard120
Audubon121
Winnebago110
Cass110
Page100
Van Buren90
Franklin90
Carroll90
Pocahontas90
Chickasaw80
Emmet80
Unassigned80
Kossuth80
Adair70
Adams70
Lucas70
Union60
Montgomery60
Mitchell50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Calhoun20
Decatur10
Wayne10
Rochester
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Mason City
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 67°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 63°
Austin
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
spotty pop-up showers and storms for Wednesday & Thursday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

IA Evictions and Foreclosures Can Start May 28

Image

Doctor scolds politicos who fail to social distance

Image

MN churches allowed to reopen, how are they adapting

Image

Sean Weather 5/27

Image

City Council supporting outdoor seating

Image

Boys and Girls Club Care Packages

Image

Helping get food on the table

Image

Good news for job seekers in Rochester

Image

Do not delay medical care

Image

Stay safe on the water

Community Events