Racism is a serious charge that should not be taken lightly, and it shouldn’t be levied against a person or group of people without proof.

That’s a hard lesson being learned by a Denver Public Schools principal, who appears to be backing down from charges he made against another school after a 9News to Know and Next investigation revealed conflicting stories.

The Manual High School principal accused members of the Weld Central team of displaying the Confederate flag during a game, shouting racial slurs and causing problems that ended the game.

But that’s not what emails obtained by the news team showed. It wasn’t the team, but someone in the stand that was holding a flag. Then this happened, according to the first account by the Manual High School principal:

Despite their later public accusation that “the tension created by the flag led to conflict on and off the playing field,” the principal was clear that night that the “crowd grew agitated after several student injuries.”

He specifically notes that the “game was called over injury, not racial animosity.”

Yet the next day, Weld Central’s football team would be publicly accused of racism.

It’s clear from the emails obtained that the principal’s story changed, and you can see those emails here.

We’re still waiting to hear from the DPS how the stories changed.

What’s particularly disturbing about this incident, is that it was sparked by a school principal, an education leader who sets an example for the kids, and an adult who should have known better.