Editor’s note: This story has been edited to remove sensitive video.
VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) — Valley Center schools canceled classes and closed all buildings for Wednesday, citing threats that have been made online to USD 262.
The school district sent an email to parents informing them of the decision.
“Out of an abundance of caution for all of our students and staff and after consulting with local law enforcement, all USD 262 buildings and schools will be closed, and all activities will be canceled for tomorrow, December 7th, 2022,” the email said. “Staff members are not to report to work unless specifically requested by their supervisor.
The school cancellation comes after an incident at a boy’s basketball game against Topeka High where Topeka fans allege that some Valley Center students and fans were calling out racist slurs and shouting other insults.
A statement from the Valley Center school district Tuesday says the district has not found any evidence of racist remarks being made during or following the basketball game. However, it says that VCHS and Topeka High School administrators are working together to investigate the claims.
Both school districts sent out a joint statement on the investigation on Wednesday.
Dear Staff and Families,
As both districts work in a unified manner to investigate matters related to the athletic events on Saturday, we as superintendents are both committed to ensuring a safe and respectful climate at school events. Incidents that occurred when individuals did not conduct themselves in ways that reflect our commitment to supporting students have been handled, and there are investigations that are ongoing. We will work together to ensure the appropriate individuals are held accountable and work together to prevent such incidents in the future.
It’s important all parties allow for investigations to occur and that we model for students ways to address adversity when it arises. As superintendents, we are working jointly to address the issues and uncover the facts about what occurred so that inaccurate information and rumors are not circulated. The incident that occurred is concerning and we both need community support and grace to allow us to complete the investigation.
We are continuing discussions between the principals and superintendents as we investigate the issues. We do not support or condone violence or any language or behavior that promotes violence and we both remain prepared to hold individuals accountable if threatening language or behavior is displayed disrupting the school environment.
Thank you for allowing the districts to work together to fully investigate matters and address the issues in cooperation with the athletic association. Be assured that we both have the best interests of each other’s students and communities at heart in our conversations and decisions.Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Topeka Public Schools & Dr. Cory Gibson, Valley Center Schools
USD 262 says law enforcement is investigating the threats.