CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) – A dad from Southern Indiana is suing his son's school district after he was kicked out of one game and banned from three other high school basketball games.
The man "booted" is AJ Felter, a father of a New Washington High School basketball player. A referee asked him to leave his son’s game earlier this month.
"I was just telling him- pay attention to the game, watch the game, I was like this yelling, you know like you're cheering for your kids,” Felker said.
The district wouldn't tell us what was said, only that the referee removed the parent from the game due to "unsportsmanlike comments to an official."
"I know he's telling me to get out because I can see his hand gestures and you know, you're kicked out, and the police come and they escort me out no trouble and if you look at the video, one of the officers pats me on the back and says they've been making bad calls all night,” Felker said.
Felker said he listened to the rest of the game from the hall.
One week later, he said he met with the school athletic director, who banned him from the next three games- home and away.
When we asked the school district about its decision, a spokesperson sent us a statement that reads:
“New Washington Middle/High School was notified by a neighboring high school that a parent had been ejected from a basketball game due to "unsportsmanlike comments to an official." The school received a report from the Indiana High School Athletic Association and issued a three-game suspension to the parent in attending New Washington athletic activities, including "away" games, as the school communicated with opposing teams about the situation. The IHSAA guidelines clearly state the responsibility of the parent is to "realize that a ticket is a privilege to observe a contact and support high school activities.”
"I feel that I was lied to and lied about,” Felker said.
Felker said that's when he called a lawyer, who filed charges against the district Monday.
"At a minimum, he's not allowed to tell him he can't go to watch his son play, in a different county, at a maximum, they need to have due process in place if they're going to ban him,” attorney Larry Wilder said.
Felker said he's hopeful he'll hear from a judge before this weekend when his son is set to hit the court again.
The district said it’s communicated with opposing teams about the decision to ban him from those games.