Southern Methodist University is apologizing after rescinding an invitation to the daughter of a slain Dallas police officer who was supposed to do an honorary serve at the school's weekend volleyball match.
Sgt. Michael Smith was one of five officers killed in an ambush attack in downtown Dallas in July following a peaceful protest.
His widow, Heidi, posted to Facebook on Thursday night an email she received from SMU saying that her daughter, Victoria, would no longer be able to do the honorary serve at Saturday's game because the volleyball program "...feels that in light of recent events and diversity within the SMU community, that the demonstration could be deemed insensitive.."
The email doesn't specify what recent events, or elaborate on how the honor could be "insensitive." It does state that Victoria and her teammates would be allowed to attend an "autograph" session with players after the game instead.
The school said in a statement Friday that:
The SMU Volleyball program extends its sincere apologies to the Smith family and is reaching out this morning to speak directly to Mrs. Smith to apologize and reinforce that the invitation stands. This incident does not reflect SMU values. Due to a change in staffing, there was a breakdown in communication that led to this unfortunate situation. This communication to Mrs. Smith would never have occurred if proper approval and communications procedures had been followed. The invitation was intended to help a family heal, and we very much look forward to Victoria’s first serve in the volleyball match Saturday.
WFAA TV reports Victoria chose not to attend the game.