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2nd coach suspended

Districts reveal little, say it’s a personnel matter

Staff writers

Marion has suspended an assistant football coach for one game for throwing an elbow into the chest of a player during a game.

It’s the second time in recent weeks that an area school suspended a coach. Centre’s school board voted Sept. 12 to suspend an assistant middle high volleyball coach, Jalen Studstill, who also is a pre-kindergarten aide, for two games. The district has stayed mum about why.

Marion assistant coach Jordan Metro, who also is the district’s business manager, can be seen in video of a Sept. 16 game throwing an elbow into player Nathan Hoffner’s chest during a conference on the edge of the playing field. The brief elbow strike was enough to move Hoffner somewhat back.

Superintendent Lee Leiker declined to discuss action taken regarding Metro, despite comments from Kansas State High School Activities Association president Bill Faflick that his organization encourages transparency.

“As an association, we don’t hire or supervise these employees,” Faflick said. “How they hire is a personnel issue.”

The group does have copious rules it expects coaches to follow.

“We have coaches and teachers that get suspended,” he said.

A district might suspend a coach, and “sometimes we suspend them” for failure to comply with rules.

Parents should be able to make informed decisions about whether to continue to allow children to participate in sports, Faflick said.

That includes COVID-19 protocols, sportsmanship and other issues, he said.

As an association, “we’re going to mitigate risk through best practices.”

Metro admitted that he had been suspended for one game, but declined to comment further.

It is not known whether the suspension affected his duties as business manager.

“That’s a personnel issue that I can’t respond to,” Leiker said. “We are aware of the situation, and since it goes into personnel, I just cannot comment on this.”

Leiker said school board members had been made aware of what happened.

“Situations like that I want to make sure the board is aware,” he said.

Leiker provided a district policy about school staff bullying students:

“The board of education prohibits bullying in any form by any student, staff member, or parent towards a student or a staff member on or while using school property.”

The policy requires school administrators to notify board members so they can review the situation and possibly subject the employee to disciplinary action.

Centre superintendent Larry Geist has repeatedly declined to give more information about the suspension there. He would not give generalities about what Studstill might have done to warrant suspension. In emails exchanged Sept. 21, Steele declined to:

  • provide a copy of the apology letter that the board required Studstill to write to students and parents
  • say how many people received it.

“I do not know if it was sent, and no, it was not reviewed and it was not on school letterhead,” he wrote.

Asked Friday how the school board could be sure Studstill complied with part of his punishment if it didn’t review the letter, Geist said Studstill “told me that he had submitted it to the parents, and the parents also told me they had received it.”

On Monday, when asked how many students and parents received the letter, Geist wrote, “I appreciate you are trying to do your job but I don’t see any point in continuing the conversation on this situation. I am confident the district followed protocol and did not violate any laws and the situation has been resolved to the satisfaction of the students, parents, and the district.”

Last modified Sept. 28, 2022

 

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