TUTTLE, Okla.– Parents of a high school football player wants the coach fired after they said the coach called their son derogatory words.
“I want him done. I want him fired and gone,” said Rusty Owens. He said the coach verbally assaulted his child on a regular basis.
Senior Gage Owens 17, said he was called a derogatory word; p***y and after missing a morning workout, his coach sent him a text message stating: “I see you got away without lifting once again c**t.”
“I’ve seen almost every 6a, 5a, 4a, 3a coach in the state and I have never heard a coach call a kid that for motivation or confidence or anything,” said Rusty.
“I was really upset, I cried,” said his mother Chelely Owens, a former school administrator and gymnastics coach of 14 years. She said being taunted like this has had a terrible impact on her son. “It was to the point to where Gage wanted to commit suicide, that’s not something anyone wants for their child.”
“We did go through the process of speaking with coach,” said Superintendent Bobby Waitman.
As the new superintendent, when Waitman heard about the accusations from a few months back he immediately begin an investigation.
During one meeting Waitman said the coach told him the four letter c-word was an abbreviation for a nick name the player got at school.
“I would go into morning workouts wearing boots and shorts and cut off t-shirt so they started calling me “Big Country” said Gage.
So instead of calling him “Big Country”, Waitman said the coach claimed he started using the c*** word for short.
Gage said, “It kind of made me mad and made me not want to be around him anymore or anybody else because once he started saying it everybody else started saying it.”
After two different meetings with the family and all parties involved, Waitman sent a letter reassuring the parents that word would not be used in reference to their son.
“We have standards of conduct and professionalism for educators, those standards are something we comply with. On a daily basis, we try to reiterate professionalism in working with our students and each other,” said Waitman.
Gage hasn’t returned to school this semester because he said he’s depressed and too embarrassed to go back. School administrators tell us they thought everything was resolved after two meetings until we contacted them Thursday.
The superintendent reiterated he doesn’t believe the coach intended to hurt the player. Waitman said he was only aware of the c-word, which he thought was cleared up, not the other p-word.