MTPR

ACLU Files Complaint After Native Americans Barred From Basketball Game

May 22, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana filed a complaint today with the Montana Human Rights Bureau on behalf of four Native Americans, who say say they were barred entrance to a high school basketball game earlier this year because of their race. 

They call themselves the Pryor Four. They say while waiting for doors to open at a game between the Reed Point Renegades and the Pryor Warriors on January 21, a member of the athletic staff from Reed Point High School admitted Reed Point community members, but would not admit the two Native American couples.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana
Credit The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

The complaint says they were told, “We don’t have any workers yet so we are only letting the white people in.”

"It certainly is alarming from my perspective that we continue to see these types of overt statements that are racist, perpetuate and persist throughout our state," says Alex Rate, the legal director for ACLU Montana.

The complaint requests a formal apology and cultural sensitivity training for the school district. The Human Rights Bureau has 180 days to investigate the allegations of discrimination.

The Reed Point superintendent’s office did not respond to MTPR’s requests for comment this afternoon. In a statement sent to Last Best News in February, Superintendent Mike Ehinger said he didn’t believe his staff member said they were only letting white people in, and called the incident a misunderstanding.