Escambia High: Coach says students interrogated without parents’ consent

On WRNE 980 this morning, Escambia High Head Football Coach Willie Spears said that his students were interrogated by District investigators without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

Spears was suspended with pay yesterday by Superintendent Malcolm Thomas. According to Spears, his suspension was for improper contact with players (in other words, recruiting). Six players have also been suspended from football team at the school.

Spears said that it is district policy for parents to be notified before they meet with deans on disciplinary problems. He said that the students, ages 15 to 17, were told by District Investigator Gary Marsh not to tell their parents or coaches about the interrogation.

The PNJ reports today that Joe Everette, father of one of the suspended players, spoke at rally at Myrtle Grove Park in support of Coach Spears. His version of what happened to his son matched Spears.’

“My son was taken into a room with two officials, no supervision,” said Everette.

In a brief conversation this morning, County Commissioner Lumon May said that the Myrtle Grove rally was impressive. “It was one of the most diverse, united crowds that I have seen,” said May. “Pastors from all the churches in the area- white and black – spoke out in support of Coach Spears.”

Inweekly has been told that EHS football supporters will flood the district phones with calls today. They will also send emails to Superintendent Thomas asking that Spears be reinstated.