Cy-Creek volleyball player says referee forced her to remove hair beads during match


HARRIS COUNTY –The ninth-grade volleyball game between Cypress Creek High School and Jersey Village High School hadn’t started when Santana Harris said her coach called her in to speak with a game official.

“I see the ref talking to my coach and pointing at me and making a big scene, and everyone is looking at me, and I felt really embarrassed,” said Harris, a ninth grader at Cy-Creek High School. and a member of the volleyball team.

Harris said while she noticed the attention was directed at her, she didn’t know why until her trainer called her.

“She was telling me, and the ref was telling me, yelling in my face that I had to take all my pearls out or I couldn’t play. And [the referee] said (that) I knew I couldn’t play with them and I was doing it on purpose,” Harris said.

The match took place on September 20 at Jersey Village High School.

Harris’ father, Trell Carson, said he didn’t learn what happened until after the game.

Carson said he felt helpless – and confused.

“She felt discriminated against. She felt humiliated and disrespected that she was asked to do this when all season it had never been an issue at all,” Carson said.

That shouldn’t have been a problem, according to revised guidelines approved by the Texas Association of Sports Officials in February 2022.

“Hair ornaments such as beads are now legal in high school volleyball as long as they are securely attached and do not endanger other players,” TASO wrote in amendments posted to its website on the 23rd. february.

A spokesperson for the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District confirmed to KPRC2 that its administrators “followed the officials’ organization that administers the contests to advise them of the individual referee’s decision on Thursday. Campus administration has met with the parent on Friday regarding the concern.Neither CFISD nor UIL have a hair bead policy,” concluded Leslie Francis, Assistant Superintendent for Communications and Community Relations, Cy-Fair ISD.

Harris and his father said they wanted an official apology from the referee who called.

“I felt like I couldn’t do anything because I wasn’t at that particular game where she was brought down to that level. It really hurt me,” Carson said.

It also hurt Santana. She said it hurt her especially after what she said she did to comply with the referee’s order.

“I had to use one of my friend’s mom’s pocket knives to get them out and I was rushing,” she said.

While most volleyball games in Houston are officiated by the Houston Area Volleyball Officials Chapter, the organization confirmed to KPRC2 on Monday that the referee in question does not work for them.

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