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Coronado School Board comfortable with decision to fire head coach following tortilla-tossing incident

Fire Away!

Spot the racism! Is it in Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, who was accused of harassment when he himself was harassed? Or is it in those cadets attending the Army-Navy game, who played “made you look” and got falsely accused of making white supremacist hand gestures? Or is it in this noose pull-down that was positioned in the Talladega Superspeedway long before Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was assigned to that garage? Wait - it’s not in any of those? Well then surely it’s in these tortillas that were tossed following the Coronado-Orange Glen division championship game? Yes, surely. And even if it isn’t, that’s no reason not to get upset enough to fire someone.
Spot the racism! Is it in Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, who was accused of harassment when he himself was harassed? Or is it in those cadets attending the Army-Navy game, who played “made you look” and got falsely accused of making white supremacist hand gestures? Or is it in this noose pull-down that was positioned in the Talladega Superspeedway long before Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was assigned to that garage? Wait - it’s not in any of those? Well then surely it’s in these tortillas that were tossed following the Coronado-Orange Glen division championship game? Yes, surely. And even if it isn’t, that’s no reason not to get upset enough to fire someone.

On Saturday, June 19th, Coronado High’s boys basketball team defeated Escondido’s Orange Glen 60-57 in overtime. After the game, at least one spectator began to toss tortillas onto the court. A postgame altercation had already begun, and at least two Coronado players picked up the tortillas and threw them at Orange Glen players. Orange Glen’s student body and basketball team are largely Latino. Condemnation of the tortilla toss as a racist attack was swift and strong. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez asked parents to “teach your kids not to be racist. Tortillas are for eating, not throwing,” and called for the school to be sanctioned or stripped of its championship. School Superintendent Karl Mueller promised “swift action,” and delivered on that promise: days later, the Coronado school board fired Coach JD Laaperi.

The next day, the Terrible Tosser came forward: Luke Serna, a half-Mexican registered Democrat who attended Coronado High and then UCSB, where he learned about Tortilla Tossing as a celebratory move. Serna said there was nothing racist about the toss, and that the coach should not have been fired. To no avail. “No matter the intent of the tosser, the ethnic implications are unavoidable; they’re undeniable,” said School Board President Lee Pontes. Added School Board member Jane Lilywhite, “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. So we did something. People who are saying that it was the wrong thing are missing the point. Racism has no place in Coronado. I for one will sleep better knowing that we took an important first step toward doing better.”

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Spot the racism! Is it in Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, who was accused of harassment when he himself was harassed? Or is it in those cadets attending the Army-Navy game, who played “made you look” and got falsely accused of making white supremacist hand gestures? Or is it in this noose pull-down that was positioned in the Talladega Superspeedway long before Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was assigned to that garage? Wait - it’s not in any of those? Well then surely it’s in these tortillas that were tossed following the Coronado-Orange Glen division championship game? Yes, surely. And even if it isn’t, that’s no reason not to get upset enough to fire someone.
Spot the racism! Is it in Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, who was accused of harassment when he himself was harassed? Or is it in those cadets attending the Army-Navy game, who played “made you look” and got falsely accused of making white supremacist hand gestures? Or is it in this noose pull-down that was positioned in the Talladega Superspeedway long before Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was assigned to that garage? Wait - it’s not in any of those? Well then surely it’s in these tortillas that were tossed following the Coronado-Orange Glen division championship game? Yes, surely. And even if it isn’t, that’s no reason not to get upset enough to fire someone.

On Saturday, June 19th, Coronado High’s boys basketball team defeated Escondido’s Orange Glen 60-57 in overtime. After the game, at least one spectator began to toss tortillas onto the court. A postgame altercation had already begun, and at least two Coronado players picked up the tortillas and threw them at Orange Glen players. Orange Glen’s student body and basketball team are largely Latino. Condemnation of the tortilla toss as a racist attack was swift and strong. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez asked parents to “teach your kids not to be racist. Tortillas are for eating, not throwing,” and called for the school to be sanctioned or stripped of its championship. School Superintendent Karl Mueller promised “swift action,” and delivered on that promise: days later, the Coronado school board fired Coach JD Laaperi.

The next day, the Terrible Tosser came forward: Luke Serna, a half-Mexican registered Democrat who attended Coronado High and then UCSB, where he learned about Tortilla Tossing as a celebratory move. Serna said there was nothing racist about the toss, and that the coach should not have been fired. To no avail. “No matter the intent of the tosser, the ethnic implications are unavoidable; they’re undeniable,” said School Board President Lee Pontes. Added School Board member Jane Lilywhite, “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. So we did something. People who are saying that it was the wrong thing are missing the point. Racism has no place in Coronado. I for one will sleep better knowing that we took an important first step toward doing better.”

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