County Human Relations Commission to Meet on Coronado Tortilla Toss
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego County Human Relations Commission (HRC) was scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss an incident in which tortillas were thrown at players at a high school in Escondido after losing a basketball game against Coronado High.
The HRC said in a statement after the incident that it was “concerned and gravely disturbed over recent reports of hate incidents associated with the recent sporting event.” The event took place on June 19 after a basketball game between Orange Glen High School and Coronado High.
The committee may decide on Monday to recommend anti-hate or anti-racism programs aimed at young people to the county supervisory board.
Following Coronado’s victory, a video captured tortillas thrown at players from predominantly Hispanic school Orange Glen during a heated exchange on the pitch.
The person who allegedly brought the tortillas to the game, Luke Serna, said he did not intend the act of throwing tortillas to be racial and was meant to evoke a tradition at UC Santa Barbara , which he also attended. Following the incident, the Coronado Unified School District held an emergency meeting and accepted public comment, ultimately deciding to fire Coronado High’s head basketball coach JD Laaperi.
Responding to calls that Coronado High vacated the team’s title before the heated incident, CUSD Superintendent Karl Mueller said in a letter to CIF that there was no evidence the school lose the match.
“In the first-person, audio and video accounts that we have reviewed to date, we have seen no evidence of antagonization by player actions or behaviors that justify giving up the game,” Mueller wrote. “The young men on the pitch played hard, fairly and won the championship… Many statements refer to the actions of people representing both schools as contributing to a kind of ‘powder keg’ atmosphere.”
The HRC was launched in 2020 with the aim of promoting and supporting positive relationships, respect and integrity, regardless of gender, religion, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or citizenship status.