BUDA, TEXAS - Players, parents and community leaders said they're outraged about an incident of racism displayed at a local volleyball game. The two districts involved released statements on the matter.
Comal ISD opened an investigation into allegations of racist comments made toward Hays High School volleyball players during the match at Canyon High School on Friday. This came after a Hays High School parent took to Facebook upset about how her daughters and teammates were treated.
"It's one thing to have fans against you, it's another to have them totally demeaning and degrading you," parent, educator, and former club volleyball coach LaTonya Whybrew said.
"It is absolutely unacceptable in any environment," Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder said.
The mom describes on Facebook students yelling the "N-word" towards the players all while they were wearing the number three on their hands in support of the Duke volleyball player who experienced similar treatment at her match against BYU just days before.
In a statement, Hays Hawks Volleyball said "the instance was not just 'kids being kids' and 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."
"Clearly the folks who said it should be held accountable to the fullest extent possible. Secondly, folks who didn't intervene, they're part of the problem," Linder said.
The Hays High School Volleyball Team said they also don't feel enough was done to remedy the situation after the coaching staff brought the incident to the attention of the Canyon High School Administration on duty.
The Austin NAACP President said it's disturbing no one intervened.
"I would say go to the authorities and force them to intervene," Linder said, "Those kids harass those kids like that, to me, it's very disturbing, and it tells me there are issues in the schools' culture that haven't been addressed."
Kaila Stovall, a Comal ISD parent, said it's a problem within the district.
"She just hears this daily, kids calling other kids this, and she even hears white kids calling black kids this," Stovall said. "To say this is the norm, is to know Comal ISD or to have seen that racism or have felt it."
The Comal ISD Superintendent released a statement saying "they're actively investigating the allegations and should it be found that anyone 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."
Former club volleyball coach LaTonya Whybrew said if she was the Hays High School coach, she wouldn't take her team back.
"If I was in that situation, I'd be like you want to play us, we want to play you? You need to come to our place both times until our teams feel safe, so I know my team doesn't get berated by going into your gym," Whybrew said.
Linder said he wants the school district to hold the student accountable, suspend them, and have them take courses to understand the history behind this word and other racial slurs.