WOODWARD, Okla. (KFOR) — Woodward Public Schools posted on their Facebook page Friday evening that newly hired high school baseball coach and assistant athletic director Mark Ward is resigning in response to objections from community members on social media.

Post from Woodward Public Schools’ Facebook page

In 1998, the Oklahoman reported that Ward pled no contest to a reduced charge of sexual battery on a 15-year-old Vici High School student as part of a plea agreement. As part of the agreement, Ward was barred from employment in public schools for two years.

Woodward Public Schools added multiple posts to their page August 18 welcoming new teachers, including one post about Ward. Woodward Public Schools limited who can comment on the post featuring Ward, but not for the posts about other teachers.

Community members voiced their concerns about Ward’s hiring under other posts on the page welcoming new teachers:

Ward addressed the resignation in the About page on his website, Mark Ward Ministries.

“I stand today very thankful for the Woodward school board and administration for giving me the opportunity to coach, lead FCA and work as Asst. Athletic Director,” Ward said. “It takes courage. The leadership at Woodward is willing to do what is necessary to have the best culture possible. I believe they have assembled a great team of coaches and teachers regardless of whether I am a part of that plan or not.”