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Nordonia High School assistant football coach resigns after making alleged racial comment to player

Nordonia High School
Posted at 2:17 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 14:23:29-04

MACEDONIA, Ohio — An assistant football coach for Nordonia High School resigned after an investigation into an alleged racial comment he made to a Black football player during practice.

On Wednesday, Nordonia Hills City School District Superintendent Joe Clark was informed by athletic director Rob Eckenrode of a situation where an assistant coach made a comment to a Black player during practice.

The assistant coach was directing the offense and called for a new quarterback. The Black football player, who does not play quarterback, jokingly responded, “I’ll play quarterback.”

The coach allegedly replied, “I asked for a quarterback, not a quarter black.”

Following the incident, an investigatory, pre-disciplinary meeting was scheduled with the assistant coach Thursday.

Clark confirmed he accepted the resignation of the assistant coach and released the following statement to families in the district:

There is no place for racism in the Nordonia Hills City School District. As Superintendent, I fully embrace the diversity of our workforce, community, and student body, and am committed to providing an environment which recognizes and respects the equality of all people. My team is dedicated to meeting the educational, physical, social, and emotional needs of all students, so that each individual can begin their life after High School knowing they are valued for their hard work, unique gifts and strong character. No conduct that interferes with an environment of respect and equality will be tolerated.

Yesterday afternoon, athletic director Rob Eckenrode alerted me to a situation reported to him that happened during football practice. An assistant coach wasdirecting the offense and called for a new quarterback. An African-American player who does not play quarterback jokingly responded, 'I’ll play quarterback.'

The coach replied, 'I asked for a quarterback, not a quarter black.'

I immediately directed Mr. Eckenrode to schedule an investigatory, pre-disciplinary meeting for the assistant coach today, October 1. Early today the coach submitted his resignation, which I have accepted. My team and I will continue to investigate this matter.

In addition, whenever a licensed employee resigns during an investigation, I am required to report the incident to the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Educator Conduct. I submitted that report this morning.

Each of you has my promise that our commitment is to enhance learning and remove barriers of any type that inhibit students from reaching their highest potential. My team and I will not tolerate racism, in any form, anywhere within Nordonia Schools.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the Nordonia Schools.

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