EASTON, MASS. (WHDH) - The superintendent of an Easton school is suspending its football program and forfeiting its next game after players and coaches taunted another team and shouted obscenities at them during a game last week.

In a statement, Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School Superintendent Luis Lopes said both coaches and players “exhibited unprincipled behavior” during a game against Southeastern and Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School on Nov. 5.

“Some of our players and coaching staff exhibited poor sportsmanship both during and after the game, taunting members of the opposing team and shouting obscenities at them. Not only were multiple penalties called during the game, but the behavior of students and coaching staff after the game was not at all consistent with the values of our school community,” Lopes wrote. “This behavior is unacceptable, disappointing and goes against our core values.

Lopes said he was suspending the varsity football program and forfeiting their upcoming game against Shawsheen Valley Tech. He said officials would be “closely monitoring” the players’ behavior and would determine if the Thanksgiving Day football game would take place.

“We will be thoroughly reviewing the events that transpired on Friday night. We will ensure that such unacceptable behavior is not repeated in the future. We will also meet with all coaches and athletes to ensure that the basic tenets of sportsmanship are known and followed by all during the upcoming season,” Lopes said in the statement. “The lack of discipline and respect for an opponent shown on Friday night is not characteristic of Southeastern’s athletic program, and we extend our sincere apologies to the members and coaching staff of the Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School football team and those in attendance.”

The team’s head coach will be stepping down.

This is just the latest in a string of troubling incidents this football season. Last month, St. John Paul II school in Hyannis suspended football after at least one player reportedly used racial slurs during a game.

Also last month, an assistant coach for Newton South was placed on leave for allegedly using a slur during a huddle.

Superintendent Lopes said he believes that COVID-19 may be to blame.

“Coming out of COVID, these kids are playing, it’s a game filled with passion and at times I think it gets the better of us,” he said. “But, that doesn’t change the fact we need to police ourselves better.”

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