Today, we sent a letter to Dr. Kenneth Southwick, Interim Superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District on behalf of the parent of a former Shawnee Mission South High School (SMS) student regarding a complaint that her son, and other minority student-athletes at the school, experienced racial harassment by basketball coach Brett McFall.
In August 2017, two former SMS basketball players submitted written complaints to the school district alleging that Coach McFall routinely made disparaging remarks about their race and ethnicity. An investigation into the matter was conducted by SMS Principal Dr. Todd Dain. After claiming to have interviewed all students and staff who would have been present to witness all the alleged statements and conduct, Dr. Dain closed the case on September 13 and found that "discriminatory actions did not occur."
In his investigation, however, Dr. Dain failed to interview several students who were listed as witnesses to the incidents and were able to corroborate their teammates' complaints. Those students also offered additional instances in which they experienced or witnessed racial harassment from Coach McFall. When the students attempted to share their accounts with Dr. Dain, he declined to interview them.
In our letter to Dr. Southwick, we asked that the Shawnee Mission School District appoint an independent investigator with no ties to the school or Coach McFall to conduct a thorough and exhaustive investigation into the harassment allegations against the coach.