Fans at a high school basketball game in Indiana sparked controversy on Friday when they displayed a blown up photo of Donald Trump’s face while chanting “Build a wall” to fans of the opposing team, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.
Fans from Andrean High School of Merrillville, Indiana were directing their chants toward players and fans of opposing team Bishop Noll, whose student body is primarily composed of Hispanics.
In addition to the image of Trump, the Andrean student fan section displayed a strong USA theme through their attire.
The Andrean administration put an end to the chants as soon as they were aware of the situation and confiscated the rump signage.
Bishop Noll students responded to the chants by shouting back “You’re a racist,” but some of the attendees didn’t seem to pick up a hostile vibe.
“It was jovial,” Andrean parent George Galanos told ABC7 Chicago. “It was a lot of fun. There was hugging going on between the teams.”
“There was no animosity going on at the game,” Galanos continued. “You had Andrean people mixing and intermingling with Bishop Noll.”
The Diocese of Gary released a statement Monday acknowledging the Friday night incident, claiming school officials were “greatly distressed by the inappropriate actions of a small group of their students,” the Northwest Indiana Times reports.
“As an institution of Catholic education, we view this challenge as an opportunity to remind our students and staff of their call to bring glory to God, while serving his people with love, compassion and mercy,” said Principal Rick Piwowarski of Andrean in a letter to parents.
Some parents are unhappy with how the school administration is handling the incident.
“I understand they’re kids. You can expect them to make mistakes,” Ashley Howard, a Bishop Noll fan, told ABC7 Chicago.
“Maybe they didn’t know how far to push the envelope because they are rival schools, but that’s what the administration is for and that’s where the administration is supposed to step in and say, ‘hey kids, that’s not ok,’” Howard continued.
— nwi.com (@nwi) February 28, 2016