Brentwood, Monessen students taught respect after dispute at event
September 5, 2012 4:00 AM
Charlie Batch speaks with reporters outside Monessen High School, where he attended a student assembly to speak about the importance of dignity and respect.
By Torsten Ove Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Students, local officials and Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch gathered Tuesday at Monessen High School for an assembly about respect stemming from a quarrel between Monessen and Brentwood at a basketball game earlier this year.
A similar assembly was held at Brentwood High School in May.
The dispute was sparked when two Brentwood students wore banana suits at the Feb. 3 game. Some people from Monessen interpreted the suits as racist, despite the fact that the students had worn the suits at other games.
Several Monessen supporters also said the mostly black Monessen team was subjected to racial taunts, but a WPIAL investigation found that no racial harassment occurred.
The organization did, however, ask the districts to work together to address any hostility.
Mr. Batch and the UPMC Dignity & Respect Program met with students from each school to come up with a program, which they explained to the students Tuesday as they had in Brentwood.
They read a list of five good deeds to complete on game days, such as complimenting someone and cleaning up after yourself.
They also presented seven ways to show respect toward others, such as learning about a different culture.
In addition, officials announced that this Friday, when the two schools play each other in football, will be known as "Sportsmanship, Dignity and Respect Day." Mr. Batch said he would be at the game.