Cheerleaders from a Moreno Valley school are speaking out as support for them grows following an incident where they say some Temecula Valley High School fans hurled racial slurs at them during a football game last week.
The incident occurred when students from Valley View High School traveled to Temecula for a game on Friday.
Sabria Rose, a junior on Valley View’s varsity cheerleading squad, says she and teammates were targeted because of their skin color, with people using racial slurs against them and saying they were “on the wrong side of town.”
“Just stuff that was not needed and called for,” Rose said.
Rose cited multiple instances where she was made to feel like an outsider, including one student grabbing her hair and others mimicking ape sounds at her and a friend.
“After they directed us where the snack bar was, me and my teammate went up the stairs and this boy stopped me and said that he liked my hair and kind of played with the ends,” she said. “And then the boys on the fence. We went past them, and they started making monkey noises.”
Supporters of the cheerleaders showed up outside Temecula Valley High Monday morning. The school district said it is aware of the allegations and is investigating.
“Our school district embraces diversity and strongly condemns hate speech and offensive, hateful language or racial intolerance of any kind on the sports fields, in school buildings or anywhere on or off school premises,” a statement from the Temecula Valley Unified School District said. “We will hold anyone found to have used such language while representing any of our schools accountable for their words and actions.”
The Temecula Valley Unified School District says it is also working with the Moreno Valley Unified School District to address the situation.
The Valley View High cheerleaders hope it’s something they never experience again.
“Having that energy pushed onto us when we’re just trying to be positive — and that’s what our intentions were going into Temecula Valley — was very sad, and I’m very disappointed,” said Kharissa Darden, a sophomore on the squad.