Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Administrators are mandated training, incident response policies after incident harming Gladstone team members

Following an investigation into an incident at a Jan. 28 boys basketball game, Molalla High School has been placed on probation for one year, beginning March 31.

In January, student athletes from Gladstone High School reported that MHS fans appeared to be wearing blackface and taunting Black basketball players on the opposing team. Additionally, Gladstone students reported an adult showing an image of a confederate flag in their direction.

MOLALLA PIONEER - Molalla Pioneer

The Oregon School Activities Association hired an independent investigator to look into the allegations. In a letter from Executive Director Peter Weber sent to Molalla River and Gladstone school districts, OSAA outlined its findings from the investigation that led to Molalla's probation.

MRSD redacted three of the OSAA's findings, as they included personally identifiable information regarding students. The fourth finding stated that heckling from some people in the MHS student section, which included students from another school, "was poor at times but was not determined to be racially motivated."

OSAA found that Molalla violated rules regarding sportsmanship and crowd control and has taken action to sanction the school. In addition, should Molalla commit anymore violations during the probationary period, OSAA may implement more strenuous sanctions.

Molalla will be required to take the following steps as part of its probation:

  • Additional training for staff and event management personnel on protecting the safety of all spectators to include implementing incident response procedures and protocols
  • Communication with OSAA regarding how MHS is addressing the incident in accordance with district policies and the Every Student Belongs Oregon law
  • A review of school spirit days and event themes in accordance with the Oregon Association of Student Councils
  • Implement elements of the S.T.A.R. Initiative supporting sportsmanship and communication procedures
  • In a statement provided to Pamplin Media Group, MRSD said it "respects OSAA's findings and has already begun taking appropriate steps to develop and implement an action plan to address them.

    "Creating an open and welcoming environment for all students, visitors and guests has always been a priority of every Molalla River school," the statement read, "and we will continue to honor that commitment as we move forward."

    The OSAA will monitor MRSD's progress toward completing these steps prior to the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

    In an April 19 letter to families in the Gladstone School District, Superintendent Bob Stewart wrote, "We are grateful to the OSAA for their careful and thoughtful work resolving this incident.

    "Our hope is that because of the courage of the Gladstone students who reported their experiences, those who inflicted harm can begin to understand the impact of their actions and change their behavior moving forward."

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