NEW EAGLE – Several parents lined up at a Ringgold School Board meeting Wednesday to support a former high school baseball coach who resigned over alleged player misbehavior last month during a trip to Florida, while another expressed anger the district failed to protect the children.
Parent Keith Feld of Monongahela said the alleged events, including hazing and alcohol and tobacco use, during the trip with then-head coach Jim Coulter were captured on video.
“You guys are charged with protecting our students,” Feld said. “It’s a shame that the only ones who are being punished told the truth.”
Coulter resigned in light of allegations that were made about player misbehavior during the booster-sponsored March 22-28 trip to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. He did not attend the board meeting Wednesday and denied any wrongdoing.
Another parent, Gail Hotz of Donora, questioned the board about whether there were enough chaperones on the trip. She said she supported Coulter.
“He was there for my son a lot,” Hotz said.
“There is plenty of blame to go around,” district Superintendent Karen Polkabla said at the meeting in the district’s administration building in New Eagle. “We can all share the blame for what happened.”
District solicitor Tim Berrgren declined to confirm whether the investigation into the trip had been concluded.
The board formally accepted Coulter’s resignation, effective March 30. It also ratified the discipline of four unnamed students without disclosing their punishment.
In other business, Polkabla announced she will retire at the end of the 2017-18 school term. Her work in the district was praised by board President William Stein Jr.
“She created one Ringgold family,” Stein said.