The question on a lot of local folks’ minds these past few weeks has been “What’ll happen to Coach?” And we don’t mean the TV show.
Greg Matthews, a teacher and coach at Woodland Jr. High here in Fayetteville was suspended for alleged inappropriate contact with a student last month and ever since that day, things have been … well … busy around the local newsrooms.
Mr. Matthews claims he was jumped from behind while monitoring the hallways last month and simply pushed the student in question away from him before escorting the ninth-grader to the office. The student claimed otherwise.
It gets confusing so here’s a timeline:
1. Mr. Matthews was suspended.
2. Mr. Matthews’ contract was not renewed.
3. A protest ensued in honor of Mr. Matthews.
4. Letters to the editor began.
5. The editors spoke.
6. Students skipped school in protest of Mr. Matthews’ non-renewed contract.
7. The students got in trouble.
8. More letters to the editor.
9. The editors spoke again.
10. A fundraiser race was orchestrated to help fund Mr. Matthews’ legal bills.
11. The student’s attorney spoke.
12. An appeal date was set.
Phew. And that was only one newspaper’s coverage. It seems that for the most part, this series has come to an abrupt ending, though.
A few moments ago (May 22, 2009), we received this statement from Fayetteville School District:
Earlier this afternoon, coach Greg Matthews and superintendent Dr. Bobby New reached an amicable settlement concerning an April 3, 2009 personnel incident at Woodland Junior High. The district and Coach Matthews regret the unfortunate circumstances which created adverse publicity for such a quality school like Woodland Junior High.
The staff, teachers, and administrators at Woodland support the notion that the cornerstone of quality education is fostering a culture which promotes a safe and respectful environment for all. We will continue to make every effort to improve student and teacher safety.
Mr. Matthews has agreed to be reassigned to another certified position within the district. We are confident he will continue to make a strong contribution to the Fayetteville Public School District.
So there you go?