A mother is calling out the Katy Independent School District after she claimed officials did nothing to intervene when Black players on a volleyball team were subjected to monkey chants during a game.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the incident occurred during a match between Paetow High Panthers and Jordan High Warriors. The players on the Panthers team are predominantly Black and Hispanic.
And though she expected the match to be fierce as a result of past matchups, Lakeesha Adams, whose daughter plays for the Panthers, said she did not foresee any racist incident during the game.
Adams shared a video of the incident on Twitter on September 4. The monkey sounds that were made at the players is said to have come from Jordan High fans.
The heckling was initially not intense during the early stages of the match, Adams said, adding that the Panthers were behind at the time. But when the Panthers started closing the score gap, a section of the Warriors fans “woke up” and started shouting the numbers of the players in an effort to divert their attention.
And though Adams said she and the parents of the other players and some coaches reached out to the Jordan High security team to complain about the heckling, nothing was done about it.
“We knew something was going to get worse,” she recalled, adding that they later started hearing monkey noises.
“I’m like wait a minute that can’t be what I’m hearing. Let’s record,” Adams said. “By then, you can see our girls’ faces. They were looking like, ‘Are you serious right now?’ But they pushed through.”
1. Hi Friends and Family, sadly my post is not one of celebration. This past Friday my daughter's Varsity Team Paetow High School(Katy,TX) played against Jordan High School (Katy,TX), and were heckled and harassed with the student section making monkey sounds towards our black pic.twitter.com/b5Lp0t0uij
— Lakeesha Kemp-Adams (@KeeshaKA) September 4, 2022
The Warriors won the game. But after the final match, Adams said the Warriors fans charged onto the court before the Panthers players could be led out.
“We were trying to get our girls out at this point,” she told the Houston Chronicle. “We’ve never left the game so abruptly. Normally they can take their equipment off, (but) not this time.”
Adams said she filed an official complaint with the athletic director at Jordan High. But she said she’s yet to receive a response. The Paetow High School principal, however, got in touch with Adams and told her that they had identified a student.
The Katy ISD also told parents and staff that they have since launched an investigation into the incident.
“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,” Katy ISD stated in the letter.
“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” the letter added.
“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.”
But Adams said the school district isn’t doing enough. “Mental health is so very important. The lack of direct communication to our girls from KatyISD to check on their mental state after having to endure such heinous actions is disrespectful and concerning,” she tweeted.
“No one is clearly reading the room after the Duke/BYU racist situation,” she added.