N.M. parents suing school, district, coaches over 'mental and emotional abuse' by baseball coaches

Hghlands High School in New Mexico (Photo: KQRE video screen shot) Photo: KQRE video screen shot

N.M. parents suing school, district, coaches over 'mental and emotional abuse' by baseball coaches

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N.M. parents suing school, district, coaches over 'mental and emotional abuse' by baseball coaches

A pair of New Mexico parents are bringing a far-ranging lawsuit against a school district, the school itself and the baseball coaches that apparently left their son mentally and physically scarred.

As reported by Albuquerque CBS affiliate KQRE, the parents of an unidentified former baseball player at Highland High School have filed a lawsuit against the three aforementioned entities in connection with a case that includes their son being grabbed by the neck for striking out, then systematically working to make him feel excluded afterward

“There were two levels of this abuse. It was both on a physical level as well as an emotional level,” Erika Anderson told KQRE. “Both really, are not okay.

“He’s not playing sports. He’s not playing on the team. He’s not going to his brother’s games.”

For now, it’s the latter that is as significant as the former, particularly in this era of hyper sensitivity and the #MeToo movement.

Here’s how the incident allegedly started, per KQRE:

“He struck out and the coach just got very very angry at him and pushed their son,” says Anderson.

At the time, Anderson says the primary coach was Larry ‘Dean’ Butler.

The family says it all started with Butler grabbing the teen by the neck, and screaming at him after he struck out during a scrimmage game.

The boy’s parents went to address the issue with then, Varsity Head Coach Jesus Villarreal.

“When the parents went to talk to the head coach about what had happened, they were assured that everything was going to be fine. That everything had been taken care of,” Anderson says.

But Anderson says it just got worse. The coach allegedly called the boy a foul name over the use of sunglasses.

That lead to the teen not using eyewear on the field, and getting a concussion when a ball hit him in the head.

That concussion, as well as the alleged victim overhearing the coaching staff discuss him and insinuate that he wasn’t tough enough, led to generalized feelings of anxiety, a condition which eventually pushed him right out of the sport, even at the expense of seeing his brother’s games.

The result is the lawsuit that is now pending, which could have a significant impact on the school, coaches and certainly the teen and his family.

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N.M. parents suing school, district, coaches over 'mental and emotional abuse' by baseball coaches
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