HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Hays High School volleyball team said not enough was done after racial slurs were reportedly made toward Hays players at a game in the Comal Independent School District.
In a statement released Monday, the team said during the Friday night varsity match at Canyon High School, which is near New Braunfels, multiple students from the Canyon High student section used “hateful and racial slurs” toward Hays Hawks players.
The Hays team said its coaching staff alerted the Canyon High administrator on duty, but the players’ concerns “were not fully trusted, heard, and respected because adults did not hear the comments — only student-athletes heard.”
“If the students involved could not be identified at that moment, the entire student section should have been removed,” the Hays volleyball team wrote in the statement.
Acting Superintendent of Comal ISD Mandy Epley did release her own statement about the incident on social media Saturday, saying both district and Canyon High administration are investigating.
“Should it be found that any one student, or group of students, made any sort of racial comments at any point during or after the game, they will be disciplined to the fullest extent possible,” Epley wrote.
She also said neither the district nor the high school tolerates this type of behavior, and it doesn’t represent the district or campus.
“I want to personally apologize to the players and coaches on the Hays High School volleyball team, as well as the Hays High School community for any inappropriate comments that may have been made,” Epley said.
The Hays team acknowledged it doesn’t believe the Canyon High volleyball team is at fault or that it reflects that program, “however, the students in the student section represent Canyon High School, and the administration did not adequately address the situation.”
The Hays team went on to say people within and outside of the Comal ISD community have brought up similar experiences of racism happening at the district’s schools during events.
“Last Friday was not just an instance of ‘kids being kids.’ It is an example of blatant racism, and anyone who sat by or sits by and allows it to happen is equally as responsible as the students that used the inappropriate language to begin with. If you do not stand against racism, you stand with it,” the Hays High team said in its statement.
The Hays Consolidated Independent School District told KXAN Sunday its athletics administrators have been in contact with Comal ISD.
Hays CISD Superintendent Eric Wright also released his own statement in solidarity with the Hays Hawks volleyball team, saying, in part, “we are proud of our Hays High School volleyball athletes for their brave action in confronting hate and for their maturity in handling a situation to which no student should ever be subjected. The experience left our Hawks volleyball players distraught, but they have chosen to be strong together, as a team.”