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We now know more about Huntsville City Schools’ decision to postpone the rivalry game between Grissom and Huntsville High School following racially motivated and violent posts on social media.
On Thursday, Craig Williams, the district’s chief communications officer, told me the district was disappointed to see posts like the ones shared.
One post showed a photo of Chris Brown and Rhianna together with the label "Huntsville" over Brown and "Grissom” over Rhianna. Another showed Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd's neck during the incident that left him dead, with Chauvin labeled “Huntsville High School” and Floyd labeled “Grissom.”
Williams told me the district felt it was best to postpone the game until Sept. 24 to give tensions time to cool and allow the district to make it a teachable moment.
“Following the incident, we wanted to make sure we had time to use this as a teaching moment with students, to make sure we had time to engage with our students about how inappropriate, how insensitive, these posts were and how, ultimately, they’re unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Huntsville City Schools,” Williams explained.
Williams said the focus now shifts to make sure students understand the district’s values, such as equality and diversity.
This rivalry game has been referred to as the “Iron Bowl” of Huntsville and Williams said there's always some tension with this rivalry, but the posts went too far.
The game’s postponement will also give the district time to make precautions, like having additional security guards at the game.
Huntsville City Schools has not specified what the punishment will be for students involved -- only stating that it will be in accordance with the district's Behavioral Learning Guide.