As many of you may have seen, there was an article published last week about some horrific behavior, including some racially charged comments, endured by a VEX IQ Challenge team at a local competition. While the incident was not observed by the team coach/mentor, or reported to any officials at the REC Foundation or VEX Robotics, we quickly became aware of the situation within an hour of the story being published. Since then, REC Foundation officials have been investigating the serious matter.
VEX Competitions embrace children of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and countries of origin. It is through diversity and collaboration that together we will solve tomorrow’s biggest problems.
We’d like to take this time to reiterate that VEX Robotics and the REC Foundation have a zero tolerance policy against racism, or any other acts of prejudice or disrespect from students, faculty or their families. This is specifically outlined in rule G16 in the VIQC Game Manual, and G17 of the VRC Game Manual, and should be stressed to the hosts of any VEX Competition.
To summarize both rules…
All teams are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner while competing in VEX Competitions. If a team or any of its members (students or any adults associated with the team) are disrespectful or uncivil to event staff, volunteers or fellow competitors, they may be Disqualified from a current or upcoming Match. It is important to remember that we are all judged based on how we deal with adversity. It is important that we all exhibit maturity and class when dealing with any difficult situations that may present themselves in specifically in VEX Competition and in our lives in general. The VEX community prides itself on being a positive learning environment, where no one ever bullies, harasses, berates or places unnecessary stress upon students and/or event volunteers. Stressful and challenging situations are viewed as teachable moments to model positive behaviors and good sportsmanship.
Please know that we are always trying to ensure that our programs are as inclusive as possible. We hope you enjoy being a part of the VEX community regardless of your race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation. If you ever have any concerns, or witness an incident that runs contrary to our code of conduct, please immediately contact your event partner, your REC Foundation Regional Support Manager, or e-mail "firstname.lastname@example.org" so that we can start a constructive discussion.
On behalf of everyone at VEX Robotics and the REC Foundation, we appreciate the time, energy and passion you put into our competitions, and we will continue to do what is necessary to foster an open and accepting environment for all attendees at the 1,300+ events that take place every year.