Picture claims to show the Osceola Fundamental Swim Team being forced to hang on to a chain link fence as punishment for leaving stuff like water bottles by the pool.
Seminole, Florida — 10 News digs deeper after parents say they’re outraged over a coach’s actions.
Pictures of the Osceola Fundamental High School Swim Team allegedly shows them being forced to hang from a chain link fence as a punishment.
Gina Jones took photos of her daughter’s hands that were blistered and sore from the punishment. Her daughter told her the swim coach punished the team for leaving things like water bottles around the pool. The punishment: hang on the fence for six minutes, and every time someone lets go early, start over.
“It should’ve been, ‘Let’s do laps,’ [or] running,” said Jones. Before the interview was over, this mom was on a fence herself, to see just how painful hanging there really is.
“I don’t think I could do it…” she says as she grips the fence. “Oh, I would be… I couldn’t do it for six minutes. That hurts your toes so bad… oooh.”
Not all swim team members are critical of the punishment and are defending the coach. One student contacted 10 News and said they actually only held onto the fence for one minute, not six.
“I have been on the swim teamfor the past three years now and coach always told us if we didn’t pick up our garbage that this is what was going to happen,” the student wrote in an email. “So, when we did not pick up our trash at a meet that another team hosted, it made our team look un-organized and filthy.”
The student went on to write, “We did not hang on the fence for 6 minutes, it was simply 1 minute to test our grip strength because grip strength is very important in swimming. Grip strength helps to grab as much water as possible while swimming freestyle. It was the same as hanging onto a pull up bar and hanging for 1 minute, which is what occurs in a fitness testing.”
I called the coach: no response. But the Pinellas County Schools spokesperson says the Athletic Director has apologized and the school is questioning the swim team now, “As soon as the school principal and athletic director were informed about the allegations, they took action. It does not reflect the culture at Osceola Fundamental High School.”
“I appreciate the apology, I do… but something has to be done,” said Jones. “Our kids are doing what they are taught to do: respect a person in charge. I just hope the person in charge is respecting them.”