Commentary: Something heinous happened under the Friday night lights

Something heinous happened under the Friday night lights. And either Weld Central - or Manual - needs to be held accountable.

Denver Public Schools is standing by the Manual High School principal who accused a football team from a rural school of hateful acts of racism at a game Friday night even though DPS acknowledges it's still investigating whether any acts of hate actually occurred.

Manual High principal Nick Dawkins said the Weld Central Rebels football team displayed the Confederate flag and racially taunted Manual players.

There's no photo or video evidence.

RELATED: High school accused of displaying Confederate flag calls claim 'significantly inaccurate'

RELATED: Racism allegations from Manual HS principal prompt rebuttal from Weld Central

DPS said Dawkins didn't actually witness any of this, he wrote his letter condemning Weld Central based on what he'd heard from others.

9NEWS has spoken with several members of the Manual community who said they saw the flag but offered very different accounts about where, when, and how it was displayed.

Weld Central says it's see no evidence the allegations are true but promised to take action if evidence surfaces.

DPS wouldn't say whether an apology is warranted if there isn't evidence of the allegations.

This is Kyle Clark's view:

Something heinous happened under the Friday night lights.
And either Weld Central - or Manual - needs to be held accountable.
If Weld Central players really did display a Confederate flag during a game at a city high school.
If Weld Central players really did use racial slurs against opponents and try to injure them.
Those players have no business playing another down of football.
If coaches were involved - they should be out of a job now.
The allegation is that they threw gasoline on the fire of racial injustice. If true, it's heinous and inexcusable and they should be held accountable.
But if Manual's principal accused another team, another school, another community of stoking racial hatred without evidence.
If Manual's principal publicly labeled these young men and their school as racist based on nothing more than what he'd heard, then that principal has no business leading a proud DPS school.
If Weld Central players have been forever labeled as racists without evidence, that's heinous and inexcusable and the principal should be held accountable.
It's time to find out what happened under the Friday night lights.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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