Garfield students targets of racist social media, text messages

Taunts and tweets aimed at black basketball players from Garfield High have landed several Issaquah High students in trouble.

SEATTLE — Several Issaquah High School students are facing disciplinary action after racist rants aimed at black players on Garfield High School's basketball team.

Police said Issaquah students used Facebook, Twitter and text messages to taunt the players with racial slurs.

Copies of the messages, which added up to 10 pages, were emailed to the officer that included photos accompanied by racial slurs, according to a police report.

Content Continues Below

Police said it appeared that those responsible are students of Issaquah High School because of terms used by the group calling themselves IssaquahRefs, ISSYBROS and IHS Bros.

WARNING: Contains language some viewers may find offensive:  See a copy of the police report here.

According to Issaquah High, none of the varsity basketball players were involved in the racist tauntsw that police are calling "hate speech."  But the controversy comes just hours before the two schools tip-off Friday night in the state playoffs at the Tacoma Dome.

The following letter was sent to parents of Issaquah High School students on Thursday:

We found the tweets referred by the media to to be offensive and are extremely disappointed and regret that a very small group of students from our school were involved. Our goal is to create a safe, secure environment and the conduct of these students cannot be condoned. While Federal right to privacy laws don't allow me to reveal the specifics of the disciplinary actions taken with students, our policies and procedures regarding student misconduct outlined in our student handbook were followed.
We are sincerely sorry for the hurtful actions by a few students who acted on their own. Thus far in our investigation, none of the varsity basketball players were involved in the tweets. We hope that we can find a way to move beyond this incident and begin the healing process. Our student ASB leaders have offered to reach out and meet with the ASB at Garfield High.
Please know that the actions of these students do not reflect the values of our district or the Issaquah High School community. We hope that parents take this opportunity to discuss appropriate use of the internet as well as a reminder to be kind and respectful to others.
Tomorrow Issaquah High School faces off against Garfield High School in the State playoffs at the Tacoma Dome at 7:15pm. We feel this is a good opportunity to demonstrate good sportsmanship and we hope to see that tomorrow."

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.