LEBANON, Missouri- Mayor Josh Ray has issued the following statement Monday in response to the reported incident of racial harassment on Friday after the Lebanon-Smith Cotton basketball game.
“This weekend, I was made aware of an incident that is purported to have taken place after a Lebanon High School basketball game with a team from Sedalia. I can’t possibly have all of the details concerning the incident, but I recognize that tensions have risen tremendously along racial lines from something that occurred that night at our local McDonalds. Our police department is currently investigating that night’s events, and I have been informed that the Lebanon and Sedalia school districts are working together on the issue. My role is not to pass judgment or deflect concerns, but to simply state that our town will not tolerate any form of threatening behavior, be it along racial, religious, or any other lines. When I say “Love Lebanon,” I mean to say that we love everyone in it, and aim to put our best foot forward with those visiting our town. I am disappointed that the incident has put our town under an unnecessary microscope, but I acknowledge that reasoned, measured action should be taken to get to the bottom of it and work to address any criminal or discriminatory activity. There is no amount of legislation or bureaucracy that can stop the abuse of other humans in our community. It starts with me and it starts with you. I am always available to facilitate any dialogue that is requested or needed.”