Montgomery County school officials will bring together students and staff from two high schools Monday to begin meetings to “repair the harm” after racial slurs were made toward Asian students at two recent sports events.

Sherwood High School spectators are accused of directing the demeaning remarks at students from Einstein High, a more diverse, less affluent school in the suburban Kensington area.

Sherwood’s principal said in a letter to the Einstein community that his school would investigate the incidents — which have touched off parent complaints and social media posts — and that there would be “serious consequences” for those responsible.

Sherwood Principal Tim Britton said the two schools also would hold a dialogue among students and staff to “better understand the pain and hurt these actions have caused” as Sherwood separately engages in “reflective and restorative practices within our own school community … to examine our school culture and how we are perceived within and outside of our community.”

The incidents date to Sept. 30, when members of Sherwood’s student cheering section reportedly made racist and sexist remarks to Einstein students during a girls varsity soccer game, according to Einstein players and complaints to school administrators.

Jared Kavlock, a soccer coach at Einstein, said in an email to team families obtained by The Washington Post that “though we complained to Sherwood coaches and personnel during the game, we did not see an improvement.”

The email described the evening as “tense and angering” but said Einstein’s principal and athletic director “got involved on our behalf and supported our girls fully” in conversations Friday with Sherwood and school system officials.

“I am truly sorry to all our players and families that were hurt by what happened, but I am glad that we spoke up and we will hopefully see some positive change as a result,” the coach’s email said.

Sherwood’s principal called Einstein to apologize Friday, and Einstein barred Sherwood students from attending a boys soccer match at Einstein that evening. Only students accompanied by a parent were admitted, and no problems were reported, officials said.

But on Oct. 4, there was another incident when Einstein student-athletes again traveled to Sherwood, in Sandy Spring, for a volleyball game.

“Unfortunately, we did receive reports of similar comments being made and directed toward our students during and following the game,” Einstein Principal Mark Brown Jr. wrote in a letter to families.

Brown said in an interview that slurs were again made against an Asian student and that, as far as he knows, offenders have not been identified in either racist incident.

Three days after the volleyball game, on Oct. 7, Britton, the Sherwood principal, apologized to the Einstein community in a letter, saying there was no place for the racist remarks.

“I categorically condemn any, and all, racist behavior from our students and community,” Britton said. “This is not who we are as a school and this behavior does not align with our core values.”

Britton could not be reached for further comment.

Across the country, schools have become a flash point on issues of race, transgender rights and equity. In the Washington region, parents have clashed at rallies and in rival Facebook groups.

In Montgomery County, players posted about the ugly remarks and slurs on social media. In a widely circulated post, an Einstein soccer player said she was taunted by Sherwood spectators as “Asian man” and “Asian trash,” and expletives were also used.

“I think that children of this age do stupid things, but adults who are there need to monitor that behavior and address it at that time,” said the parent of an Einstein player, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Mimi Richards, an Einstein junior and member of the girls varsity soccer team, said the taunts and body shaming were unlike anything she’d experienced within the school system’s sports programs.

“It’s something that is unacceptable and players shouldn’t have to go through this at sporting events, especially high school sporting events,” she said. “They should have fun and not feel like they are going to be judged about how they look or who they are.”

In Britton’s letter, he said he recognized that his school had missed an opportunity to act more quickly “to publicly acknowledge the impact these actions had.”

“For this we are truly sorry, and we are committed to improving our approach to matters of race and equity,” he wrote.

Before the two incidents, on Sept. 24, Sherwood prevailed over Einstein at a football game, and several parents pointed out that afterward a social media post referred to Einstein as “CRIME-STEIN” as it boasted of Sherwood’s victory. The account has since been taken down.

Some considered the disparaging word racist because Einstein has more students of color.

“I interpret it that way as well,” said Brown, the Einstein principal, in the interview. “It’s that negative connotation that Black and Brown people are criminals.”

“I believe that post was the catalyst for the subsequent behaviors,” he said, adding that he did not know of any long-standing rivalry between the schools.

“It wasn’t okay in 1954, and it’s certainly not okay in 2021 to make such derogatory comments and remarks,” he said.

Einstein’s student body is nearly 50 percent Hispanic, 24 percent White, 18 percent Black and 6 percent Asian. Sherwood’s is almost 50 percent White, 19 percent Hispanic, 15 percent Black and 12 percent Asian, according to school system data from the 2020-2021 academic year.

Fewer Sherwood students are from low-income families, with 18 percent receiving free and reduced price meals, compared to Einstein’s 45 percent.

On Monday, the school system’s equity initiatives unit will guide the meeting between students and staff at the two schools. It is designed to begin a process of “study circles,” intended to forge relationships across racial and cultural differences, develop skills needed to discuss race and racism, and identify beliefs and practices that cause harm.

Brown said the meeting will include seven students from each school, along with the two principals, the two athletic directors and other staff. Student participants will include some who were “directly or indirectly” involved in the incidents.

Still, Brown said that while that while he hopes the effort will help in gaining understanding about how different groups approach life, school and work, he also believes the offenders need to be addressed “directly and specifically.”

“Being part of an athletic team and attending athletic events,” he wrote in his letter, “are privileges that can be taken away.”