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Principal probes track coach's assault on athlete

Published:Monday | March 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey

The principal of a prominent high school has launched an investigation after one of its track-and-field coaches slapped a female athlete in the face at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships at the National Stadium on Friday.

The principal told The Gleaner yesterday that she was unaware of the incident before this newspaper brought it to her attention.

"I have no knowledge of the situation and so I will be doing my own investigation," the principal said. "We have started the investigation, but everybody that I have spoken with has no knowledge of it so far."

The incident occurred when one of the school's track-and-field coaches summoned a female athlete, in full view of The Gleaner.

"As you come, you start with the trouble," the coach said to the girl.

He then proceeded to slap the athlete in the face without waiting for her to explain what she had done.

The coach also demanded that the athlete board the bus and go home.

The principal said as soon as her investigation is completed, she would comment on the matter.

serious allegation

When contacted yesterday, ISSA's competitions chairman George Forbes said he was finding it very difficult to believe that a coach would commit such a cruel act.

"It is a very serious allegation and we are going to report it to the principal for her to investigate or see what actions or [if] there is any truth to the alleged allegation," said Forbes.

"She will have to investigate the matter," Forbes said.

"You have given me the name of the coach now, but we obviously have to speak to the principal and so let us see where it takes us."

Garth Gayle, a member of ISSA committee who promised on Friday to carry out a full investigation into the matter, said he was not aware of who the coach was until The Gleaner brought it to his attention yesterday.