A former Oregon high school track and field coach has been indicted after a pair of students claimed he physically harassed them.
As reported by the Portland Oregonian, 46-year-old Leon McKenzie III was arrested earlier in October on suspicion of two counts of misdemeanor harassment. The two students involved are both female minors.
McKenzie pleaded not guilty and will appear in court in late November.
The coach served as an assistant track coach at Portland’ Benson High School from 2015 until late August. And his name comes with a legacy; McKenzie’s father, Leon McKenzie Jr., is the longtime head coach at Benson.
While McKenzie has proclaimed his innocence, the Portland Public School District wasted no time in dismissing the coach once the initial claims were made against him. Portland Public Schools spokesman Harry Esteve released a statement following McKenzie’s indictment on Tuesday:
“Keeping our students safe is our most important responsibility, and there is no place for anyone who harms children at Portland Public Schools. Allegations such as the ones in the indictment against Mr. McKenzie III go against the standards of conduct we expect of our employees and a violation of trust. We have no tolerance for any kind of harassment of our students by adults. We remain dedicated to providing a supportive and safe learning environment for our students, and we encourage students and staff to speak up and report concerns.”