by Matt Duffy, WCCUSD Superintendent
To the Kennedy and El Cerrito Communities: The second half of the Kennedy-El Cerrito High School football game last Friday night was cancelled due to inappropriate behavior by fans. These incidents involved young people and adults, and spilled into the surrounding neighborhood.
This is an unfortunate, unsafe, and unacceptable incident. I am thankful that no serious injuries or significant property damage have been reported.
Last year, this rivalry resumed on a positive note at Kennedy High School. It was my belief that this longstanding tradition could return without the violence that plagued games in the past. I still believe this is possible.
However, we must work together in order to ensure the safety of our students, players and fans at all of our events. We also need to wrestle with and find solutions to the violence that plagues our children at home and in the community.
The District is working with El Cerrito and Richmond police officers to investigate the incident, identify the people involved and strategize to ensure the safety of students, players and fans at future games.
In addition, the District is continuing its investment in restorative and trauma-informed practices, socio-emotional counseling and community-based interventions in an attempt to address some of the underlying issues that lead to the kinds of incidents that took place on Friday night.
If we do not find the right strategies or solutions to prevent these types of incidents, we will have to evaluate whether continuing this tradition is in the best interest of our students and our community.
Thank you for continuing to work with us to find solutions.