The photo of seven young men from Phillipsburg High School surrounding a wrestling dummy wearing a Paulsboro High School T-shirt has spurred the school district to discipline the boys for what critics are calling racist, mean-spirited and just poor taste.
Six of the seven boys in the photo are wearing Phillipsburg team jackets and two of the individuals have hoods pulled over their heads in a point. One of the boys is leaning toward the front of the photo with a paddle in his hand.
Fierce rivals for decades, both Phillipsburg and Paulsboro boast two of the most competitive wrestling programs in New Jersey. The blue-collar towns are located on opposite ends of the state and matches between the Stateliners and Red Raiders have always been intense.
The teams met earlier this month in a dual meet, with Phillipsburg prevailing, 38-21.
Phillipsburg School District Superintendent George M. Chando said "actions were taken" Tuesday. But he refused to say what they were.
In a brief news release issued yesterday afternoon, Chando called the incident "a student matter dealing with minors."
"An investigation was undertaken and upon conclusion of the investigation, actions were taken by the District consistent with its policies," the statement read.