UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, the Vermont Principals' Association reversed its media ban.

Earlier today (Monday, Nov. 1, 2021) the Vermont Principals’ Association took the extraordinary step to ban the public and media from the Division 3 Boys Soccer Semifinals game scheduled tomorrow between Enosburg and Winooski high schools.

The VPA is a publicly-funded organization - banning the public from a publicly-financed event at a public venue.

Only team members, coaches, officials and school administrators will be in attendance “to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all student-athletes involved.”

The two teams met earlier in the season and it didn’t go well. After the game, Winooski Superintendent Sean McMannon issued a public statement accusing Ensoburg players and fans of vile, racist behavior.

“Three players on the Enosburg Falls High School (EFHS) team and spectators used abhorrent, violent, racist language against our student-athletes,” McMannon said soon after the contest. He reportedly based his comments on information reported to him. “They were called the N-word, monkey, and terrorist.”

As you might imagine, the story hit social media and went from zero to pitchforks, in no time flat. Enosburg was quickly condemned in the court of public opinion and widely vilified by the cyber horde.

Then a video surfaced… of a Winooski player violently attacking an Enosburg player, knocking him out with a headbutt after a play. The attack earned the Winooski player a two-game suspension and is now being investigated by police as a criminal matter.

Also investigated (albeit exclusively by the Enosburg school district because Winooski refused to participate), were the claims of racial abuse that Superintendent McMannon said made him “sick to my stomach,” and “boils my blood.”

Nobody would argue… racism has no place anywhere in our state. Nor would many people of conscience doubt that minority students suffer disproportionate abuses.

But the Enosburg investigation found no evidence to substantiate Mcannon’s ugly claims. The only thing the public has to go on are third-party accounts, social media histrionics and a video that tells a markedly different story than McMannon’s version.

Following their first game, the VPA came up with the ideas to form a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; immediately require anti-bias training for all coaches and officials; and to devise a reporting system for “any racially related events.”

Those all seem like fine moves. But the media ban is really quite dumb. We don’t think that anyone who decides to defuse a controversy, by removing independent, third-party observers, should be in the position to make important decisions.

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(2) comments

Eddy R. Woodchuck III

If that was a real attack it would be very, very rare as the Democrats are masters at staging racist events/false flags and then blaming them on others. This training is another coordinated lie attack on average citizens by the Globalist Billionaire Cabal via their indoctrinated and paid for scholastic minions. The Globalist Billionaires also issued almost identical mandates to their medical puppets. Staged and phony. They are the racists ones as they claim those who are not are. Absurd, .

Randy Rathburn

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee was formed by the Vermont State Athletic Directors Association well before this incident. The implementation of coaches and officials being required to take an anti bias training prior to the winter season was also in place before this incident.

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