The Valier High School volleyball match with Heart Butte was cancelled on Monday, Oct. 6, due to the content in one of the videos from the Panthers’ Homecoming pep assembly.
This matter is currently under review by school officials, reported Superintendent Julie Gaffney. No updated information was available when The Valierian went to press on Tuesday morning.
Gaffney released the following statement on Monday. “ As part of the pep assembly, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors created videos as a means of inspiring enthusiasm for the homecoming game against Friday’s opponent, the Heart Butte Warriors,” explained Gaffney is a prepared statement. Each class picked a holiday theme and created a video to be shown at the assembly.”
The statement continued, “A portion of one of the videos was shared on social media. I understand there are concerns with one of the videos, with the holiday theme based on the 4th of July and its representation of Native Americans. Circumstances of the video are under review and all concerns are being taken seriously. My primary concern is the well being of our students and staff and I’d like to ask everyone to wait until the facts are revealed before drawing your conclusions.”
Heart Butte Schools Superintendent also issued a statement on the incident. “The Heart Butte School District does not condone the completely inappropriate content depicted in the video produced by the Valier High School students. It is disappointing that the educators responsible for supervising those students did not recognize the blatant racial overtones and instruct the students properly.”
Gaffney was inundated with requests for information on the incident from news media on Monday afternoon.
The video, which was posted via social media, depicted scenes where one of the characters was dressed as a Native American woman, wearing red, which is the symbolic color for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman movement.