U.S. News

Wisconsin school district to discipline students for 'Trump' taunts

A man wears a hand-lettered "Build the Wall" t-shirt while waiting in line for a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Portsmouth, New Hampshire February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Wisconsin school district said on Monday it would discipline several students who taunted an opposing team’s fans and minority players with chants of “Trump, build a wall” and “Trump” during a high school soccer game.

The incident occurred on Thursday during a girls’ varsity soccer game between Elkhorn Area High School and Beloit Memorial in southeastern Wisconsin, said Jason Tadlock, the administrator of the Elkhorn Area School District, in a statement posted on the district’s Facebook page.

During the game, three elementary school students who were sitting near Beloit fans said: “Trump, build a wall,” and two high school students chanted: “Trump” four or five times, Tadlock said. It was unclear whether the two groups attended the game together.

“Any unsportsmanlike conduct or derogatory comments are not acceptable and not in line with our district’s values,” Tadlock said, saying the Elkhorn students would be disciplined.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has come under fire from opponents for pledging to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico and accusing Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals north of the border. He has also proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, citing national security concerns.

Beloit Memorial girls soccer coach Brian Denu told a CBS affiliate in Madison that the taunts were directed at black and Latina players on his team. Several players were too distraught to finish the game that they lost 5-0, he told the station.

“One of the girls was cradled in the arms of one of our assistant coaches for a good 15 to 20 minutes,” Denu said.

Denu could not be reached by Reuters for comment. Officials at Elkhorn also could not be immediately reached.

In December, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sent an email to athletic departments across the state, reminding local officials that any chants or taunting of opponents and their fans was considered unsportsmanlike and that they should take action when it occurs.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Peter Cooney