In response to inappropriate cheering at a recent Class A regional boys’ basketball game that was reported in the Detroit News, student representatives and top administrators from King High School and Warren De La Salle High School met Tuesday for a good-faith discussion that cleared the air toward building a better understanding between their Detroit Public School League and Catholic League schools.
“We can’t do anything to go back in time and change what was said, but we can build from this and make sure that nothing like that ever happens again,” said one De La Salle student.
“When it happened, we were in shock,” said a King student. “But by you coming here and confronting your mistake, it shows that you do respect us.”
The hour-long dialogue in King High’s media center was arranged by King principal Dr. Deborah Jenkins at the request of De La Salle principal Patrick Adams. Both principals made brief remarks as did King assistant principal Lawrence Fitz, athletic coordinator Gerald Weatherspoon and De La Salle athletic director-assistant principal Brian Kelly.
But most of the discussion was between the King and De La Salle students, with each side pledging to build a lasting “brotherhood” between the two schools.
Also in attendance was Terry Foster, the Detroit News’ sports reporter who wrote the initial article about the taunting cheers at the March 12 game at Cass Tech High School: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120313/OPINION03/203130328/1049/SPORTS05/Detroit-King-s-comfortable-win-turns-uncomfortable
He was there to hear both sides for a follow-up column.
“Some De La Salle people think I wrote it just to get at them, but it was for the protection of their boys, too,” said Foster, a 1977 Cass Tech graduate. “There were some people who wanted to beat them up.”
Foster said he’s pleased to see the preliminary results. “I’m very happy with this,” he said. “I wrote that column because I wanted to see some change and make some people think. I’ve heard from some ignorant people who wanted to do bodily harm to me. But the fact that this meeting took place made it all worthwhile. I’m going to challenge these guys to not only talk, but to do what they say they’re going to do and build a brotherhood.”
Sports Information Director
Detroit Public Schools