Students Banned From Game For 'USA' ChantSan Antonio Express-News, Lorne Chan
Alamo Heights High School boys basketball coach Andrew Brewer was about to leave for school Wednesday when he got a call at home from a talk-radio station asking for an interview.
That was when he knew the Mules' student section was about to become a national story.
A day earlier, the San Antonio Independent School District had filed an incident report with the University Interscholastic League regarding a “USA, USA” chant by Alamo Heights students after a boys basketball game against Edison High School on Saturday.
The chant lasted for about five seconds before Brewer silenced the students as soon as he heard them.
Heights students who were involved in the chanting will not be allowed to attend the Mules' Class 4A state semifinal game against Dallas Kimball tonight in Austin.
The story about the complaint filed by SAISD has since become national news, sparking a debate over whether the chant could be considered offensive.
SAISD and Alamo Heights ISD released statements Wednesday that included pleas to move on from the controversy.
“Some question why a chant of ‘USA' is wrong. It is not wrong in the appropriate context,” SAISD's statement said. “... If this chant was commonplace — chanted regularly at games with other high schools — it would not be an issue. In this case, it was targeted at a school that is predominantly Hispanic.”
A letter from AHISD superintendent Kevin Brown also addressed the incident.
“We live in the best country in the world, and cheering for our country should be celebrated,” Brown said in the statement. “However, cheering for our country should be done for patriotic reasons, not to offend other Americans.”
The story has taken off on talk radio and social media. Many Alamo Heights supporters said online that the “USA, USA” chant was after Edison fans chanted “Alamo Whites” during the game.
“Regardless of what else was said, our kids made a mistake with a chant after the game,” Brown said Tuesday. “We've dealt with it, and we're going to move on.”