Man, 25, Posing as Hurricane Victim Enrolls, Plays Basketball at Texas High School

on May16

16 May 2018 | 12:22 pm

A 25-year-old man was arrested after allegedly posing as a high school student in a Dallas Independent School District campus so he could compete in high school basketball, according to Texas officials. Now the University Interscholastic League, UIL, is monitoring the situation.

Dallas ISD police said Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley claimed to be a displaced Hurricane Harvey refugee and enrolled as a freshman student at Skyline High School in August under the name Rashun Richardson. Federal law exempts people who claim to be homeless or an evacuee due to a natural disaster from requiring documents they might not have.

Two months later he transferred to Hillcrest High School and joined the basketball team there, The Dallas Morning News reported. He also briefly dated a 14-year-old classmate.

A UIL spokesperson said the UIL is aware of Gilstrap-Portley playing during the basketball season and the minimum penalty for using ineligble players is forfeiture of the games where the player participated.

“For him to take advantage of the Harvey situation and then the homeless laws and get himself in front of our students, it is frustrating,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. 

It was revealed that Gilstrap-Portley, who once played basketball at North Mesquite High School and at Dallas Christian College, was an imposter when one of his former basketball coaches spotted him at a basketball tournament on April 30, district officials said.

North Mesquite Head Basketball Coach Phillip Randall told NBC DFW that he was not the one who spotted Gilstrap-Portley, but he did tip off Hillcrest High School after he was informed.

“He was an average player and a good kid, I’m surprised,” Randall said. 

Gilstrap-Portley played for Randall until 2011 when he graduated from North Mesquite. Seven years later, he was still playing high school basketball and, according to Hinojosa, who had watched Gilstrap-Portley play at a playoff game, “he didn’t look any different than the other students.”

The mother of a Hillcrest High School freshman told The Dallas Morning News her daughter dated Gilstrap-Portley in January. The mother, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said her 14-year-old daughter told her she did not have a sexual relationship with Gilstrap-Portley.

“I’m upset, frustrated, angry and sad at the same time,” she told the Morning News. “If it’s happening at Hillcrest, then it could be happening somewhere else. It could have gone differently if he had other intentions to hurt her or to traffic her.”

Hinojosa apologized to the parents of students in the district and vowed to “follow better protocals to try and prevent this from happpening.”

“You send your kid to be safe at school and to participate in extracurricular activities and this should not happen,” Hinojosa added.

Gilstrap-Portley was arrested over the weekend on charges of tampering with government records, but has since bonded out of jail. 

Hillcrest High School sent the below letter to parents on Monday.


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