A group of Pitman High School parents have had enough of what they say is abusive behavior from one of the school’s athletic coaches.
The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees regular meeting on Tuesday became heated during the public comment section after three parents delivered a letter to trustees and district staff detailing the alleged behavior of an athletic coach at the school.
The letter contains 13 signatures from parents who are asking for the removal of the coach because of intoxication both during and after games, behavior during games and his/her treatment of players.
“(The coach’s) alcohol abuse has affected (his/her) coaching to the extent that (he/she) cannot even remember what plays (he/she) directs (the team) to use from the time they leave the bench, to the time they set foot (in the game),” states the letter.
The parents accuse the coach of yelling in players’ faces so loudly that players have left games in tears.
The parents repeatedly indicate in the letter that their chief concern is the coach’s alleged use of alcohol.
“The players have been telling us, the parents, about (the coach) smelling of alcohol during practices and at their games for the past two seasons. Pitman High has also been aware of it during this time frame, as many of the players were questioned about it by PHS staff during last year’s season,” reads the letter.
It goes on to indicate the parents’ fears for their children’s safety.
“The first time frame that many of us smelled the odor of alcohol coming from (him/her) was at one of our first tournaments this year … Rather than endangering our (children’s) lives by allowing them to ride home with (him/her) in the school van, we transported them home ourselves,” states the letter.
At the meeting the parents said they have exhausted all options. In the letter parents directly accuse certain Pitman High officials from failing to take action to terminate the coach’s employment after repeated concerns from parents. The parents question the school administration’s commitment to safety in place of winning games.
“Is Pitman High School more concerned with having a winning team than protecting their students?”
Near the end of the letter, parents state that if the coach returns to Pitman next year a large number of senior team members will not play.
TUSD administration declined to comment about this letter stating it was a personnel issue.