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Wantagh investigating student's inappropriate comments

A member of the Wantagh High School football

A member of the Wantagh High School football team allegedly made anti-Asian remarks to Valley Stream South High School tennis players, according to two sources familiar with the circumstances. Credit: Raychel Brightman

The Wantagh school district said it is investigating an incident in which a student allegedly made offensive comments to members of the visiting Valley Stream South High School girls tennis team.

The incident occurred on March 17 and involved a member of the Wantagh High School football team allegedly making anti-Asian remarks to the visiting tennis players, according to two sources familiar with the circumstances.

"Our district is committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment for our entire school community and does not tolerate actions such as the one displayed at this match," Wantagh Superintendent John McNamara said in a statement to Newsday. "When the district was made aware of the incident we immediately launched an investigation into the matter. The student responsible for the inappropriate comment will be held accountable for their actions and face appropriate consequences as per our code of conduct.

"We apologize that the student athletes from Valley Stream South High School had this experience on our school grounds," McNamara said.

Scott Stueber, the athletic director for the Valley Stream schools, told Newsday that immediately after the alleged incident, members of both girls tennis teams notified their coaches and officials at both schools. Valley Stream has been assisting Wantagh in the inquiry.

"We took statements. They took statements," Stueber said. "The investigation has been in-depth. . . . and we are satisfied with how Wantagh is handling it.

"They have come back for more information from our people who witnessed it and we have provided it," Stueber added. "The dialogue between the schools has worked. In a troubling set of circumstances, I can say that we have taken it seriously and Wantagh has taken it seriously."

McNamara said through a spokeswoman that the inquiry involves the actions of a single individual — not additional members of the football program who were in the area when the incident allegedly occurred.

"Due to privacy constraints, the district will not be providing any additional information," McNamara said through the spokeswoman.

Stueber praised members of the Wantagh and Valley Stream South girls tennis teams for how they handled the situation, which was first reported by News 12.

"Both teams handled this in an extremely appropriate manner," he said. "They handled a terrible incident correctly."

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