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Illinois high school soccer players told they couldn’t board charter bus because they were carrying the flag of Mexico

The Mexican flag. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (Quad-City Times) — The Rock Island High School soccer team in Illinois had to reschedule a game Thursday after the team stood together in support of players who weren’t allowed on the bus while holding a Mexican flag.

The charter bus driver taking the students to the out-of-town soccer game refused to let the students onto the bus while they were carrying a Mexican flag in celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day, according to a letter to parents from Superintendent Reginald Lawrence of the Rock Island-Milan School District.

Mexico’s Independence Day is Sept. 16.

The rest of the team got off the bus and refused to board again, causing the team to miss its game, which was rescheduled.

“With all that transpired, our RIHS soccer team and the head coach conducted themselves with respect and dignity. Our students should not have to experience this sort of bias and racism,” Lawrence said. “The Rock Island-Milan School District is a school district of many nations, and we are here to support our students … Racism is counterproductive to our values, and we need to do everything in our power to end it.”