The organization that governs athletic competition in Texas public schools is keeping an eye on incidents last Friday at two high school volleyball games in which fans in attendance allegedly made racially insensitive comments directed at the players.
According to videos posted to Twitter over the weekend by Lakeesha Kemp-Adams, who identified herself as the mother of a volleyball player at Paetow High School, fans at Katy ISD rival Jordan High School made monkey noises as Paetow’s players were serving. Paetow’s team includes several black or Hispanic players.
Also on Friday, according to a statement posted on Twitter by the Buda Hays High School volleyball team, its players were subjected to “racial and hateful slurs” by the New Braunfels Canyon High School student section during their game.
Julia Zachary, a spokeswoman for the Austin-based University Interscholastic League, said in an email that the organization is awaiting further information from Katy ISD and Comal ISD, which hosted the games in question and are conducting investigations.
“The alleged incidents are of great concern to UIL staff,” Zachary wrote. “Until we receive more information from the school districts, we are not prepared to comment further.”
1. Hello friends and family, unfortunately my publication is not a celebration. Last Friday, my daughter’s Varsity Team Paetow High School (Katy, TX) played Jordan High School (Katy, TX), and they were interrupted and harassed by the student section making monkey noises at our black. pic.twitter.com/b5Lp0t0uij
—Lakeesha Kemp-Adams (@KeeshaKA) September 4, 2022
There was reportedly a similar incident late last month at a college volleyball game between Duke and Brigham Young University. Duke player Rachel Richardson told ESPN that BYU fans directed racial slurs at her while she was serving.
Katy ISD, in a letter sent Tuesday to Paetow parents that the district provided to Houston Public Media, said it had identified some students who “engaged in behaviors that are not aligned with district and UIL expectations for education.” athletic conduct during a sporting event,” and that those students could face disciplinary action. Katy ISD’s media relations department did not respond to emailed questions to determine how many students were identified as being involved, what school they attend, what they are accused of saying or doing, and whether any punishments or they are expected to apply. be transmitted.
“The safety of all Katy ISD students is our district’s top priority,” Katy ISD wrote in Tuesday’s letter to parents. “Students, staff, and the community play an important role in keeping our school safe by reporting potential safety issues. We would like to thank those who have reached out to report the concern to school and district staff.”
Kemp-Adams wrote Saturday on Twitter that no action was taken during the game after she informed Jordan campus staff about sounds she heard coming from the student section. She wrote that she subsequently filed a complaint with the school district.
In one of the videos that Kemp-Adams posted on Twitter, a student can be heard saying, “Why are you guys making monkey noises?”
“We will not let this get swept under the rug and normalized as kids being kids,” Kemp-Adams wrote. “It’s pure unadulterated racism!”
Individuals, teams, and schools may be subject to disciplinary action related to inappropriate behavior by gamegoers, in accordance with UIL rules, with sanctions ranging from reprimands to suspension.
“The UIL has requested a report of this investigation (in Katy) and will determine next steps at that time,” Zachary wrote.
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