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'That’s indicative of racism' | Katy ISD investigating 'inappropriate behavior' made at high school volleyball match

"They were making monkey sounds when our girls were serving," said a parent of one of the players.

KATY, Texas — Two Katy ISD high schools are at the center of an investigation after racially insensitive noises were caught on camera at a volleyball match on Friday.

It happened during a girls' varsity volleyball match at Jordan High School, which was hosting rival Paetow.

Lakeesha Adams’s 16-year-old daughter, Devan, is on the Paetow team.

“She’s been playing five years,” Adams said.  “And she plays competitive level as well as club level.”

Adams said they’ve never encountered what happened during the match against Jordan.

“We just started hearing a noise and we were like, 'What is that?'" Adams said.

That turned out to be something racially insensitive coming from where she told us Jordan students were seated.

“It was a little faint at first and then got louder,” Adams said.  “And that’s when we started to record it. And they were making monkey sounds when our girls were serving.”

A student who records matches for the Paetow team reacted as the camera rolled.

“Why are they making monkey sounds?” the student said in the video.

“That’s indicative of racism,” Adams said.

Katy ISD shared an email sent to Paetow families after Adams’ video was viewed thousands of times on social media.

It called the behavior inappropriate and not in line with the values of the district, which is committed to an inclusive environment. There’s no information on if Jordan administrators have identified any students involved.

Meantime, Adams believes the match Paetow ended up losing should be played again without interference.

“I’ll be honest with you, I think that game needs to be forfeited and put into a neutral location," Adams said.

Adams added that her daughter and teammates were embarrassed and humiliated by the incident which is similar to others across Texas and the nation recently.

Katy ISD sent two emails to Paetow High School parents, guardians and staff. In the most recent email sent Tuesday, the district said some of the students involved have been identified. 

September 6, 2022

"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.

Katy ISD"

September 5, 2022

"Dear Paetow High School Parents/Guardians and Staff,

"District and campus administration have been made aware of inappropriate behaviors exhibited by individuals attending the Paetow High School versus Jordan High School volleyball game this past Friday, and the subsequent videos circulating on social media.

"We want you to know that campus and district administrators are investigating. The behaviors exhibited in the video footage viewed are not in line with the values of our District.

"Both the physical safety and well-being of all Katy ISD students is our District’s utmost priority. We are committed in policy, principle and practice to maintaining a school environment that is inclusive and prohibits inappropriate behaviors.

"Your patience is appreciated as this matter is investigated and addressed.

"In the meantime, should you have questions or information to provide concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact kisdconcerns@katyisd.org.

Katy ISD"

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