Superintendent: Robbinsdale schools won’t compete in New Prague athletic events

The Robbinsdale Area Schools superintendent announced Thursday that the district will not compete in any New Prague-hosted athletic events “for the foreseeable future.”

Superintendent Engstrom’s decision, made with the district’s cabinet, comes in response to reports of racist behavior against Black athletes from the crowd at a New Prague High School girls varsity basketball team on Feb. 15.

The taunts — including monkey noises — came from both students and adults directed at Robbinsdale Cooper High School team members, the letter states.

Tuesday, St. Louis Park High Schools’ Athletic Director Andrew Ewald sent a letter to New Prague’s activities director stating that they refuse to compete with the school during the spring 2022 season — and that his decision was also influenced by additional allegations of racism against another Metro West Conference school.

RELATED: St. Louis Park High School refuses to play New Prague following alleged racist incident

“We believe people should be respected no matter the color of their skin, and our students’ ethnic and cultural backgrounds are important and should be honored,” Engstrom wrote. “We believe racist behavior or the perpetuation of racism in any form is damaging to the social-emotional and mental well being of our students.”

Engstrom called for the Minnesota State High School League to take responsibility for the students and coaches at New Prague seriously.

KSTP has reached out to MSHSL and New Prague High School for comment but has not heard back.

Read the full letter from Robbinsdale Area Schools here: