EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. -- A high school football prank that used a cross with the name of a black player from a rival team written on it has sparked discussions about racism at the two schools.
The three Montpelier high school players who thought up the prank have written a letter of apology to the U-32 High School team as well as to Dwight Lipsey, the star running back whose name was written on the cross.
''When I first heard about it, I thought it was crazy," Lipsey told the Barre Montpelier Times Argus. ''When I thought about it, I thought maybe they didn't mean it in a racial way, but I wasn't with them when they did it, so I don't know."
Lipsey said his parents were very upset about the cross. ''The school thought it was pretty serious too."
Montpelier High School principal Peter Evans said three players were looking for a prank before the homecoming game against U-32 last month. He would not name the students involved. The players wrote ''RIP Dwight" on the cross, went to U-32, stuck it in the football field, and went home, Evans said.
The next day, game day, a custodian at U-32 discovered the cross and removed it. Evans spoke to the students involved. He said the rivalry between the schools is being taken too seriously. ''It's not a healthy rivalry," Evans said.