BALDWIN CITY, KS (KCTV) -- A high school volleyball match in rural Kansas ended with the opposing team calling out the home team for what's being described as “racially offensive” behavior.
Both Piper and Baldwin City School Districts are working together to find out what happened in Baldwin City High School’s gym Tuesday night.
“Monkey noises and duck calls sound totally different,” Candice Byers, mother of a Piper High School student, said.
Byers daughter came home from a volleyball game at Baldwin City High School Tuesday night upset.
“To have to sit there and try to explain to your child that they did nothing wrong, that they are beautiful, that they have no reason to be ashamed of themselves because of their skin or from where they’re from,” Byers said.
Byers says the Piper team, which is made up of mostly black girls, were called monkeys by Baldwin City students. Monkey noises were made at them and they were told to, “Go back to where they came from.”
In a social media post, people came to Baldwin City students defense saying the theme of Tuesday night’s game was camo and students brought turkey calls that were mistaken for monkey noises.
“Quack quack sounds totally different than ooh ooh, ahh ahh type noises and the fact that it was so many girls that heard this and felt this, it wasn’t one or two,” Byers said.
Now both schools are working together to get to the bottom of what happened.
In a statement, Piper’s interim superintendent said in part, “We always want our students to feel safe, supported and treated with respect. To that end, we will not tolerate any racially motivated behavior directed toward our students.”
You may be aware of a situation that occurred recently during a Piper High School volleyball match at an opposing school. It was reported that spectators from the opposing team were making racially offensive comments directed at players on the Piper team.
“We always want our students to feel they are safe, supported, and treated with respect,” said Dr. Blane McCann, Piper USD 203 interim superintendent. “To that end, we will not tolerate any racially motivated behavior directed toward our students. Likewise, we will not permit our students to be disrespectful to their peers or toward opposing schools. I applaud our students for handling a difficult situation with grace and dignity.”
Members of the Piper administration are working closely with administrators from the opposing school to conduct a thorough investigation of the events that transpired and ensure there will be no future events of this nature.
Baldwin City’s superintendent says they are working with Piper and have made progress on the investigation so far, but they could not provide details about exactly what happened.
Byers wants anyone who knows something to speak up.
“Don’t just cover it up, speak on it. Say something so that it can get resolved. It’s not just one child that’s affected, it’s several and it’s going to be an ongoing thing unless we help stop it,” Byers said.
Piper and Baldwin City’s freshmen teams play at Piper High School on Saturday.