Greenbrier County Schools release statement regarding incident at girls basketball game

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LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — One week after the incident at the Woodrow Wilson / Greenbrier East girls basketball game, Greenbrier County Schools released an official statement.

In the release sent on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, GCS said they would not issue a statement until “all involved agencies completed their investigations.”

Greenbrier County Schools addressed the incident as follows:

The Greenbrier East High School Girls Basketball Team is to be commended for their exceptional display of sportsmanship and decorum. At no time did the East Girls Basketball Team leave their appointed bench areas during the disruption, chaos, and altercations that transpired during the fourth quarter of the game. The team displayed no involvement in the incident.

The Greenbrier East student cheering section is to be commended as well for their exemplary display of sportsmanship and respect for maintaining their position in the bleachers and complying with all directives from school administration.

WV State Police and B3 Security, as well as our athletic director and school administrators, acted swiftly to assuage what could have become a significant event.

Greenbrier County parents and the community play a major role in the support and success of athletics at Greenbrier East High School. The great majority of parents and community are to be commended as well for their positive support of student-athletes, regardless of school affiliation.

Statement from Greenbrier County Schools
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

Superintendent Jeffrey A. Bryant also addressed the controversial comments said by Head Coach and West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice:

The infamous statement, “In hindsight, I would have,” is an excellent teaching moment for all of us. We all learn from our errors in life. I [Superintendent Jeff Bryant] have had the privilege of observing Jim Justice coach and mentor student-athletes for over twenty years with an attitude of love. In no conceivable manner did Coach Justice know in his heart and soul that his comments after the February 11 game would be interpreted as racially derogatory. Jim Justice has been, is now, and will continue to be a Champion of all youth. Jim Justice views all people as important and valued and a part of our human race, all youth and adults, regardless of who they are or where they live, as valued and loved. In hindsight, Coach Jim Justice has shared with me that he regrets through the raw emotions of that evening that his comments were misinterpreted and is sincerely sorry if it has caused sorrow and hurt for anyone.

Statement from Greenbrier County Schools
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

Bryant said after communicating with Raleigh County Schools Superintendent, David Price, the two agreed “inappropriate behavior… cannot be tolerated in high school athletics.”

We will work hand in hand as two respected school systems to educate and plan for a future of interscholastic athletic competition that will personify the very best in all involved.

I trust David Price, as he does me, to counter and eliminate unprofessional conduct effectively and swiftly to ensure that unprofessional and unsportsmanlike conduct is not a part of the future. Inappropriate behavior from students, fans, student-athletes, and coaches will not be tolerated.

What matters most here are not the wins and losses, but rather the leadership that we all demonstrate as we strive to mold the character of our youth.

Statement from Greenbrier County Schools
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

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