UPDATE: A judge ruled the Houston girl’s volleyball team can continue playing in the postseason.
The school district filed for an injunction, and Texas County Judge Robert Ray issued a temporary restraining order Thursday afternoon while the case moves forward. Ray wrote that “immediate and irreparable loss” would occur if the team were not allowed to play.
Houston takes on Stover at 7:15 p.m.
HOUSTON, Mo. – OzarksFirst spoke to the superintendent of the Houston School District Thursday about the MSHAA decision to strip the Houston Girl’s Volleyball Team of its district title. Among the words to describe emotions, Dr. Justin Copley, Superintendent of the Houston School District used the same one over and over.
“We are obviously dissatisfied with the stance that MSHAA took,” Dr. Copley said.
The stance? Houston Schools announced that the Missouri State High School Activities Association was stripping the Houston Girl’s Volleyball Team of its district title, its first since 2006 and 9th in school history.
The reason? The district says the forfeiture comes after the involvement of some team members in a co-ed volleyball event, meant to raise money for a charity that fights breast cancer was a violation of MSHAA rules that prevent athletes from competing in a non-school organized competition during the same season and/or the same sport.
“We recognize that our kids participate in that tournament to raise money for breast cancer, and regarding, does the punishment fit the crime? You know, as a school district, if we thought that the punishment fit the crime, we would not have we would not have filed a petition today for the courts to consider, to consider an injunction for this matter,” Dr. Copley said.
The Houston team was supposed to take on Stover High School tonight, but with the district losing an appeal, they’re taking MSHAA to court to delay a potential next match.
“We have filed a temporary restraining order, an injunction with the Texas County courts to temporarily kind of delay this evening’s events, to give proper time and due diligence to the situation so that we can make sure that we’ve been afforded the appropriate opportunity to be heard in all aspects and that the board is able to hear what we have to say regarding this matter,” Dr. Copley says.
He adds that the Houston School District promotes selflessness.
“They put themselves out there to raise money for breast cancer in this tournament and to be a part of that in a positive way to do positive things,” Copley added.
Copley says he won’t give up the fight.
“We will make sure that we wrap our arms around our kids, parents, everyone. No matter what the what the outcome is, we will do that,” Dr. Copley said.
MSHSAA declined to comment on the situation.