Disappointed Parents and Players
Parents of volleyball players from Pike High School are upset, angry, and disappointed by what they perceive to be racist taunting gestures made by an opponent during a match on Saturday.
In the two days following the game versus New Palestine, a number of Pike parents voiced their disgust with the situation on social media and in interviews. Kendra Champion-McAloon, the athletic director at Pike, stated on Monday that she had a meeting with Troy Inman, the school’s principal, to go through the findings of an internal inquiry.
She didn’t want to go into too much detail but said one of their players filed a report, and they spoke with New Palestine about it. New Palestine assured them that they are looking into it and taking it seriously. She noted that the school had informed the Indiana High School Athletic Association about the event Tuesday morning. The IHSAA acknowledged receiving the information on Tuesday in the late afternoon.
A New Palestine player is seen appearing to scratch or beat her chest after a timeout and on the court with her teammates before play resumes in a video from the match on Saturday. The player making the motions appears to be told to stop by another New Palestine player. While serving as a line judge for the game nearby for Pike, a freshman player took the gestures to be racist and later fled the floor.
Coach Gene Murray of Pike said he didn’t know happened to the line judge throughout the game. However, you can see the monkey motions mentioned in the video while she was line judging. She became upset over that, so she stopped serving as a line judge.
The majority of Pike’s varsity volleyball team’s roster is made up of Black athletes.
Following a thorough investigation that included reviewing game video and “speaking to others involved or impacted by the event, New Palestine said it has disciplined the student “in accordance with the school’s Athletic Code of Conduct.”
In response to the circumstance, the Indiana High School Athletic Association said:
“The Indiana High School Athletic Association is aware of the incident that occurred during a New Palestine-Pike volleyball match last Saturday. We have been in contact with administrators at both schools, and believe that appropriate disciplinary action and proactive measures to correct unacceptable behavior are underway. As educators, we must use this as a teachable moment. It is never appropriate to make fun of, taunt, threaten, or belittle anyone over race, religion, nationality, or any other difference. Instead, those differences are to be respected, celebrated, and championed. We look forward to the day when we do not have to have this type of conversation. Until that day, however, we must continue to educate the young people we serve.”