Parents upset after lights out at middle school tournament

OKLAHOMA CITY – Several middle school volleyball teams were forced to play part of their tournament in the dark for a few hours after Friday night’s storm knocked the lights off.

It was an unexpected turn of events for the teams playing in the all school middle school volleyball tournament at Oklahoma City’s U.S. Grant High School.

"We got here at 8:30. All of the teams were here. About 9ish or so, we realized the lights weren't coming on and there was an issue with getting them turned on. What we were told is they had to get a hold of someone with the district level to turn them on and they couldn't reach them,” said Megan Keast, a parent.

Keast said a few lights on the far side of the gym were providing a little bit of light, so some of the teams started playing.

"There were 10 teams originally and five went ahead and went home because of the safety issues with not having all the lights on,” Keast said.

Keast said the lights didn’t come back on until 1 p.m., causing the remaining teams to lose some key tournament hours.

School district officials told NewsChannel 4 Friday night’s storm caused the building to lose power and it took some time to get the gym lights back up and running.

Parents at the tournament said they’re frustrated because they said the high school used to have a maintenance worker on the weekends before state budget cuts and they believe that would have possibly helped the issue get fixed sooner.

"We all pay our taxes for our kids to go to school, and all of the kids were here, every one of the kids were here and I just think it's really not fair to any of the kids in any of our schools, because of the budget cuts, they can't participate in the programs they want to or they run into issues like this where they can't carry on with their tournament,” Keast said.

Keast said she supports all of the area schools and wishes they didn’t have to deal with budget cuts.