Call for Action: Boy told he could play on the girls volleyball team, then kicked off

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TRINIDAD, Colo. (KKTV) - A southern Colorado middle school said it was okay for a boy to play on the girls volleyball team, then the school reversed the decision.

Seventh-grade student Jaydnn Romero has been playing volleyball since he was in third grade. He started playing in a league with girls through a local rec center. That league is only available through the sixth grade. As Jaydnn was getting ready to start the seventh grade, he was told he could join the girls team at Trinidad Middle School. The school doesn't have a boys team.

Jaydnn started practicing Aug. 16. He was given the green light to do so by both the athletic director and the volleyball coach. Jaydnn was joining a team that was made up of girls he had played with before, including his own sister Domenique.

"We just fell in love with the game together!" Domenique exclaimed.

After about a week of practice with the team, Jaydnn's mother Tracey was contacted by the school.

"He went to his practices, did what he had to do," Tracy said. "He did a little bit of fundraising, then all of a sudden one day they had questions about him playing on a girls team."

Tracy said it isn't clear where those questions came from. Jaydnn stated there was a moment during practice when he spiked the ball and it hit a girl in the face. Jaydnn said the girl didn't go to the nurse, and that is just a part of the sport.

"It was just a normal practice, we were practicing and playing and having fun," Jaydnn said in response to the incident.

However, the Romero family isn't sure if that's why he was kicked off the team. Tracy said the principal at Trinidad Middle School told them they follow guidelines put in place by the Colorado High School Activities Association, or CHSAA.

11 news reached out to CHSAA, and the organization explained that only girls can participate in volleyball at the high school level. CHSAA does not have any jurisdiction over the junior high or middle school divisions. The organization does help provide guidelines for the divisions, those details are laid out in the Constitution of the Colorado High School Activities Association as follows:

Junior High and Middle School administrators recognize the benefit of holding membership in the Junior High/Middle School Division of the Colorado High School Activities Association. The Association has attempted to provide guidelines for junior high/middle school programs
which are responsive to, and in the best interests of, the students affected.

The decision to follows those guidelines rests in the hands of individual schools and districts across the state.

11 News reached out to Trinidad Middle School for clarification on why the rule was not enforced before Jaydnn was told he could join the team. The principal at the school could not comment and referred us to Superintendent Scott Mader with Trinidad School District No. 1.

Superintendent Mader stated he could not comment on the situation either. When asked if he could give a general overview of the district's guidelines on athletics he asked if we had contacted CHSAA. We had, and explained CHSAA doesn't make the decisions at the middle school level. Again, Mader mentioned he could not comment on the guidelines or the specific situation but may be able to do so at a later date.

"They had told us he could play," Tracy said, referring to what the athletic director and coach had said several weeks ago. "It broke my heart to see the look on his face when they told him he couldn't play. It was devastating."

Tracy isn't upset about the rules in place, she wants to know when these rules were enacted and why they appeared to change a week into practice.

"They said they weren't affiliated with CHSAA, but they follow their guidelines," she added.

Tracy is hoping the school will reconsider its decision to kick her son off the team. Tracy says she isn't aware of any other local options that allow her son to be competitive in the sport he loves.

This is a developing story and if more information becomes available this article will be updated.