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San Diego State Senator Calls On Sports Federation To Revoke Coronado Championship

California State Senator Ben Hueso is shown in this undated photo.

Credit: Office of Senator Ben Hueso

Above: California State Senator Ben Hueso is shown in this undated photo.

A San Diego lawmaker has called on the California Interscholastic Federation to revoke Coronado High's regional basketball championship in response to community members throwing tortillas at the largely Latino opposing team as outrage continued Thursday over the incident.

"This intentional act was designed to be racist and should not now, nor ever, be tolerated," State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista, said Thursday in a letter to the sports federation's executive director and the leaders of its San Diego chapter. "Failure to impose swift and appropriate justice will become a tacit endorsement of the act itself by the CIF and violate CIF's own principles of ethical character-building for student athletes."

On Saturday, after Orange Glen High's predominantly Latino team lost to largely white Coronado High in overtime, some members of the crowd threw tortillas at Orange Glen athletes.

RELATED: Coronado School Board Fires Basketball Coach Following Tortilla-Throwing Incident

Leticia Cazares, president of the Governing Board at Southwestern College, issued a statement Thursday, saying, "As Governing Board Trustees, our top priority is to protect the physical, emotional and mental safety of our community members. This is a priority that all in the education sector must share and work together to ensure our students have the best opportunities to learn and become future leaders. What transpired around the Coronado vs. Orange Glen varsity boys basketball game on June 17 is an incident that we unequivocally condemn. Hateful actions that demean and dehumanize, intentional or not, should not be tolerated in any educational institution.

"This hurtful act affected the entire community and has illuminated the deep work that still needs to be done in diversity, equity and inclusion. We are committed to this work as a Board and we applaud the swift action of the Coronado Unified School District in recognizing that change begins with accountability.

"This is a reminder that educational leaders must work together to best support our students and ensure that we lead our institutions with inclusive and empathetic values. It is a lesson our institution holds dearly as we work to improve upon our own lessons learned. We must work in unity, with resolve and take unified action towards eliminating racist behaviors in our campuses and do better for our current and future students."

Coronado High School alumnus Luke Serna has come forward and admitted he provided the tortillas last weekend but said his intentions were not racist.

The incident has drawn censure from across California and additional responses are expected at a special Thursday evening meeting of the Escondido Union High School District's board. The board called the meeting in order to take up a resolution denouncing racism and racial discrimination, and affirming its support for equity, safety and the well-being of all students.

The special meeting is set for 5:45 p.m. at the school district offices, 302 North Midway Drive, Escondido.

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