Parents protest firing of girls’ soccer coach

Plymouth High School senior, Madie Lewis 2012-2013 Gatorade Michigan Girls Soccer Player of the Year

 

 

Apr. 7, 2014  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

 

Plymouth Michigan News

 

More than 100 players and parents crowded the Plymouth Canton Board of Education meeting last week to protest the replacement of Salem High School girls soccer coach Scott Duhl.

Duhl’s replacement was not a decision or action of the administration or board members, however, but was managed “at the (school) building level.” The actual change was made by Coach Easy, a third-party contractor used by the district. Coach Easy supplies non-faculty coaches to several districts. Duhl is also assigned, through Coach Easy, as the coach of the boys’ soccer team at Salem.

Superintendent of Plymouth Canton Schools Dr. Michael Meissen sent a response to families who contacted him about the issue and noted that Duhl’s status with the boys’ team was not impacted by the decision.

The decision to remove Duhl as the girls’ coach was rumored to have been made after he used an inappropriate slang term in a meeting with female players. There has been no official reason for his removal provided by the district or Coach Easy.

Meissen informed families in his letter that the district administration did not make the decision to remove Duhl and that the assignment of coaches is delegated to leadership in the individual schools with oversight by building principals.

“In this case, the process was managed appropriately at the building level, the third-party employer was contacted and the district will work with the third-party employer if there are any additional questions it has regarding what took place,” Meissen said in the letter.

“Parent and student concerns have been heard and we also care deeply about the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools inter-scholastic athletic programs,” Meissen said in the statement. “We, too, are disappointed in a tough but necessary decision.”

Duhl will be replaced by George Kithas for the 2014 season. Kithas coaches boys soccer at Churchill High School in Livonia and in the statement, Meissen said Kithas was “highly recommended and enthusiastic about this opportunity.”

Meissen said the district will post the coaching position before next season and Duhl would have the opportunity to apply for the job at that time.

 

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