Marble Falls High School announced its plans this week to investigate reports of alleged racist behavior by student spectators at a girls basketball tournament on Friday.
The incident at the Texas school, which was captured on camera, depicts several students shouting monkey noises as East Central High School senior Asia Prudhomme, who is Black, was shooting free throws. Marble Falls High School’s student body is almost 50% white and only 1.5% Black.
“I've always been taught not to pay attention to the stands, so I wasn't really paying attention to them,” Prudhomme, who successfully sank her free throw, told ABC News. “I was just focused on making my free throws and getting my team back into the game.”
After watching the video of the incident, however, Prudhomme said she was shocked.
“I've never had this happen to me,” she said. “I was heartbroken. In my head, I was just thinking why would anybody do this. It’s 2022.”
This is sad, heartbreaking and uncalled for. Can’t even play basketball without ignorance and racism in the stands. This really broke my heart, my coaches and teammates… please share this out and help us punish those involved. pic.twitter.com/lahZTa6bDB
— asia prudhomme (@AP32COLD) November 19, 2022
Marble Falls High School Principal Damon Adams said in a statement that administrators are reviewing video footage and will interview students and spectators who attended the game to ensure a thorough investigation.
He said the school takes the allegations of racism seriously and will “hold students accountable for any behaviors that violate our expectations.”
“As campus principal, I regret that any player or guest in attendance at our tournament experienced anything from our student body that made them feel uncomfortable or devalued,” he said. “I am saddened that the behaviors of a very small number of students could tarnish the impression that others have of the incredible group of kids who make up our student body.”
Marble Falls Independent School District also said in a statement that it will continue to work with administration at East Central High School to fully investigate the incident.
“Marble Falls ISD does not condone any form of discrimination, and we would like players at East Central to know they have our full support,” the statement reads.
Prudhomme said she is asking for a "sincere public apology" from the students who made the noises. Her mother Pamela Prudhomme added that she would also like to see the students suspended.
In September, Katy Independent School District, also in Texas, launched an investigation into reports of spectators making monkey sounds at Patricia E. Paetow High School's junior varsity volleyball team, made up of predominantly Black and Hispanic girls, during their game against Jordan High School.
Prudhomme, who hopes to play basketball in college and eventually make it to the WNBA, said she is grateful for the support she has received from her coaches, teammates and fans.
“I have a lot of love at my school,” she said. “It's really building me up to become a stronger person.”