Parents question coach's comments - Albuquerque Journal

Parents question coach’s comments

CLOVIS – A coach’s alleged comment to Grady volleyball players that they would “burn in the eternal flames of hell” for various behaviors, including “being gay,” brought a number of concerned parents to the school’s board meeting last week.

Grady Municipal Schools Superintendent Keith Durham declined to confirm whether the incident occurred; he also declined to identify the coach in question and would not discuss whether any disciplinary action was taken.

“I can’t speak on personnel matters,” Durham said.

Mikayla Najera, a Clovis resident who is an alumna of Grady schools, said about 20 people concerned about the allegations attended the Nov. 21 meeting. She said she’s friends with some of the girls on the Grady girls team and some of the teachers.

“I went to see if the matter was handled well,” Najera said.

Najera said “mostly parents” were in the audience along with three players from the girls volleyball team and the team manager.

Members of the audience spoke during the open forum portion of the meeting. Board members do not respond during the open forum.

Najera said those who spoke told the board the incident occurred Oct. 26.

“That day the team was called into a classroom for what was called a ‘bonding meeting,'” Najera said.

Najera said audience members told the board that the girls volleyball team members were in the classroom when they were given a list of “sins” such as, “being gay, premarital sex, starting drama, spreading rumors” for which they would “burn in the eternal flames of hell.”

“I was interested to see how my alma mater would deal with this,” Najera said. “I was quite disappointed.”

Durham confirmed only that comments were made to the board during the open forum part of the school board meeting and “the board listened,” he said.

Durham said the board took no action regarding the issue. He said minutes from the meeting would not be released to the public until they’re approved at the next board meeting scheduled Dec. 19.

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