An Atlanta-area high school football coach is facing charges after appearing to punch a player during a game between Benjamin Mays High School and Douglas County High School. The incident took place in the first quarter of the game and was captured on camera by Peachtree TV. The coach, who remains unidentified, was seen screaming at a player on his own team before striking him in the stomach. The player hunched over in pain but eventually stood back up as the coach continued to yell.
The Atlanta Public Schools spokesperson confirmed that the coach will be charged with simple battery and will also face administrative discipline. It was revealed that the coach is not a classroom instructor but rather a lay coach who is required to complete a GHSA training program. The safety and well-being of all APS students is a top priority and the district holds all employees to the highest standard of conduct and professionalism.
Interestingly, this incident followed a series of fights that occurred during a scrimmage between two APS high schools at Lakewood Stadium two weeks prior. The Atlanta Public Schools Police is working in coordination with the Atlanta Police to enhance safety and security measures in and around the stadiums. This is in response to a report of possible gun violence prior to the scrimmage, which prompted a significant presence of APS officers and Zone 3 APD officers to secure and clear the area by 11:30 p.m. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
In light of these incidents, APS is urging parents to attend games with their children or ensure they are promptly picked up and taken home following the conclusion of a game. Student safety and security remain a shared responsibility and APS is committed to providing a safe environment for all stakeholders.
The arrest of the Mays High School lay coach has sparked concern within the community and raises questions about the appropriate behavior of coaches and the overall safety of high school sporting events. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining professionalism and ensuring the well-being of all students involved in athletic activities.