The New Jersey school district home to Buena High School wrestler Andrew Johnson is no longer sending any of its sports teams to events officiated by the referee who forced Johnson to cut his dreadlocks before a match earlier this month.
According to CNN, the Buena Regional Board of Education held an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss the Dec. 19 match. In a video that circulated Twitter last week, referee Alan Maloney is seen demanding the 16-year-old cut off his hair or else he would have to forfeit the match.
"We have viewed the video footage that has gone viral and are deeply troubled by the embarrassment and humiliation our young student athlete endured," said David C. Cappuccio Jr., superintendent of the Buena Regional School District, per CNN. "District administration has been working diligently around the clock for the past several days collecting as much info as possible about the sequence of events occurring this past December 19."
The school district informed NJSIAA that it would “not compete in any contest officiated by this referee from this point forward."
Johnson ended up winning the match in overtime and propelled his team to victory, but only after enduring the publicly humiliating incident. He previously competed with dreadlocks without issue, and now the family is taking legal action against the referee.
NJSIAA Executive Director Larry White announced over the weekend that Maloney wouldn’t been assigned to any further matches until the Dec. 19 match “has been thoroughly reviewed.”
"As an African-American and parent -- as well as a former educator, coach, official and athlete -- I clearly understand the issues at play, and probably better than most," White said.
The state attorney general's office says that an investigation by the Division of Civil Rights has been underway. Maloney made the news back in 2016, after he called a black referee a "n****r."