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Racially insensitive video ends school’s football season

SHORT PUMP, Va. >> A middle school football team in Virginia has forfeited the remainder of its season after players made a racially insensitive video.

The video posted on Snapchat shows football players simulating sex acts on their black peers, WWBT-TV reported. The images are overlaid with racially charged language. Police have been investigating the incident.

The team at Short Pump Middle School outside Richmond had three games left in the season and will continue to meet for practice and participate in mandatory discussions over racial intolerance, ethics and accountability.

Frank J. Thornton, president of Henrico County’s NAACP, said school officials took a step in the right direction, but he questioned whether the district is equipped to get to the root of the problem.

“You can’t just sugar-coat,” Thornton told the Richmond Times-Dispatch . “You need a group who really knows what they’re doing.”

April Sullivan, a parent of a student at the school, agreed. She told the newspaper the school should do more “to address the systemic class and race issues that exist in society in general and Henrico County in particular.”

In a letter to the community released Friday, the Henrico County School Board said it is developing steps to prevent future incidents and will include parents in that discussion.

Not all of the team’s players were involved in the video, but school board members said the lessons to be learned should be reinforced with the entire team.

“Our hope is to use this very unfortunate event as a meaningful learning opportunity for students moving forward,” the letter said.

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