‘We didn’t mean any harm’: Band members facing suspension for ‘racist’ gift basket

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HOUSTON, Texas -- Members of a marching band in Texas could be suspended over a fruit basket school administrators say was racist.

KTRK reports that it's tradition for members of the Atascocita High School band to exchange gifts with members of the rival bands on the field before varsity football games. The gifts are meant to promote good sportsmanship.

Friday's gift, presented by seven members of the Atascocita band to Summer Creek High School band members, was a decorated bucket for Halloween, along with candy, a small watermelon, coconut, pineapple and watermelon gum.

School administrators conducted an investigation after the gift presentation and determined it was inappropriate and lacked good sportsmanship.

KTRK reports that the district released the following statement:

    "It is a tradition for student representatives of competing schools to exchange gifts on the field at varsity football games. On Friday, students from one school presented students from the other school with a watermelon, a pineapple, a coconut, and watermelon gum. Today, school administrators conducted an investigation and after considering the totality of the circumstances, determined that the gift was inappropriate and lacked good sportsmanship. Atascocita High School will not tolerate racial insensitivity."

Atascocita band members say they never dreamed the gift would be considered racist and that they didn't mean any harm.

A parent of one of the band members in trouble tells KTRK his daughter was suspended from all band activities for the rest of the school year.

Read more here. 

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