The Rock Island High School boys soccer team had to reschedule a game Thursday after the team stood together in support of players who weren't allowed on the bus while holding a Mexican flag.
The charter bus driver taking the students to the out of town soccer game refused to let the students onto the bus while they were carrying a Mexican flag in celebration of Mexico's Independence Day, according to a letter to parents from Superintendent Reginald Lawrence of the Rock Island-Milan School District.
Mexico's Independence Day is Sept. 16.
The rest of the team got off the bus and refused to board again, causing the team to miss its game, which was rescheduled.
"With all that transpired, our RIHS soccer team and the head coach conducted themselves with respect and dignity. Our students should not have to experience this sort of bias and racism," Lawrence said. "The Rock Island-Milan School District is a school district of many nations, and we are here to support our students ... Racism is counterproductive to our values, and we need to do everything in our power to end it."
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Moline's Nelson Acosta, middle, runs to teammate Chris Lopez, right, with Sam Ramirez, left, trailing after Acosta's goal against Rock Island Tuesday at the Moline Soccer Bowl. Moline won 5-1.
Moline's Nelson Acosta runs past Rock Islans'd Wiba Alamsi (18) during a soccer match Tuesday at the Moline Soccer Bowl.
Moline's Saiheed Jah, right, seen here during a game earlier this season, scored a hat trick Friday night as the Maroons upset top-seeded Joliet West 4-0.
Moline's Isiah Gallegos and Rock Island's Jesus Sosa battle for the ball during the first half of a soccer match Tuesday at the Moline Soccer Bowl.
Rock Island's Reponse Muhoza, right, heads the ball after keeper Di Sae Khu punches it during a soccer match against Moline Tuesday at the Moline Soccer Bowl.
Moline's Nelson Acosta goes to shoot the ball as Rock Island's Wiba Alamsi (18) comes in to defend during a match Tuesday at the Moline Soccer Bowl.
Moline's Diego Gomez (12) watches as his shot crosses the line for a goal during a match against Rock Island Tuesday at the Moline Soccer Bowl.