A Connecticut volunteer football coach for players in fourth through sixth grade has been fired for punishing a child for allegedly bullying one of his teammates by making him run laps, according WTNH.
Todd Kennedy, coach of Durham Middlefield’s football team in Durham, Conn., said he talked to the entire team about bullying, but when he got word that it happened again, he spoke to the alleged bully in front of the team.
The boy denied it, but Kennedy had him run a few laps. According to the report, Kennedy then praised the boy for running without complaining.
Two of Kennedy’s sons played on the team, although they no longer do.
The league board questioned his handling of the incident and then told him he could no longer volunteer.
“(One of the board members) said why did you feel that you were qualified to handle this bullying incident? I’m like because I’m a father,” Kennedy told WTVH.
He said he was never trained on how to handle bullying as a coach and now feels like the league is blaming him for the lack of training.
“They never heard from me, so now you’ve got these children that I’ve been coaching since August and all of a sudden their coach just disappears,” Kennedy said. “What I’m going to miss the most is seeing what we would have done this year, seeing if we would have gotten to the championship game.”
Shannon Riso has pulled her son from her team as well.
“Bullying is OK — that’s the message I got,” Riso told WTVH. “That’s why my son is not going to play for them. I want him to be around better role models than that.”
Members of the league board have not responded to requests for comment from WTNH.