Monkey sounds made at Black volleyball players were racist, mom says

Briana Conner Image
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Katy ISD investigating racist taunting at high school volleyball match
The parent of a Paetow High School player said race played a role in her daughter's team being heckled, harassed, and taunted because they are primarily Black and Hispanic.

FULSHEAR, Texas (KTRK) -- A high school volleyball team is reeling after accusations of racist taunting at a rivalry game.

A parent pulled out her phone and recorded students in the stands making monkey noises toward Black players during the Paetow vs. Jordan high school varsity game.

LaKeesha Adams said she isn't satisfied with the response from Katy Independent School District.

Adams' daughter is on the varsity team at Paetow. She filed a formal complaint with Katy ISD leaders immediately after Friday night's game.

She said she still hasn't heard back from them, and outside of their coach, no one has checked in on the players.

Adams described the environment at Jordan on Friday night as intense. She said the crowd was rowdy, but then things took a turn when the players switched sides on the court. Monkey noises were heard from students in the stands who were there supporting Jordan.

"Initially, I was like, 'OK, what are they trying to do?' Our mascot is the Panthers, so none of that makes sense," Adams said.

Paetow's players are primarily Black and Hispanic, but the Jordan team is majority White. Adams said race played a role in her daughter's team being heckled, harassed, and taunted.

"It was chaotic. It just did not feel like a welcoming rival environment," Adams said.

Adams said the game went on without anyone addressing what happened, so she made a formal complaint.

Tuesday, Katy ISD sent out a letter to all parents in response:

"Dear Paetow High School Parents/Guardians and Staff, This weekend, we shared with you that the District and campus administration had launched an investigation into an incident that occurred at the Paetow High School versus Jordan High School volleyball game last Friday. The incident involved inappropriate behaviors exhibited by individuals in attendance at the game. An investigation has identified some students engaged in behaviors that are not aligned with the District's and the UIL's expectations for sportsmanship conduct during an athletic event. Any student's behavior deemed in violation of the Discipline Management Plan, and Student Code of Conduct will face disciplinary consequences. Again, the safety of all Katy ISD students is our District's utmost priority. Students, staff, and community play an important role in keeping our school safe by reporting potential safety issues. We would like to thank those who came forward to report the concern to school and District personnel. Thank you for your patience and understanding as the incident was investigated."

"I'm not asking you for this long, drawn out letter, or any of that other stuff, "Adams said. "Just accountability. Also, a plan of action going forward so that anyone else knows this is unacceptable in Katy ISD. We do not accept racist ways."

The Paetow team won their match Tuesday night. Adams said she's proud of the girls for playing hard despite the behavior they were victims of.

SEE ALSO: Bellaire HS baseball coach on leave as video shows tempers flaring over controversial game

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