An assistant football coach at Chiles (Tallahassee, Fla.) has been suspended without pay and barred from coaching for the rest of the academic year for using a racial slur and profanity on Snapchat.
The coach, Trey Pettis, used inappropriate language while responding to a Snapchat photo showing a football player and his girlfriend having dinner. Pettis complained on the social media app the student wasn’t at football practice and referred to the boy’s girlfriend using a racial slur.
“This young coach used very poor judgment and has been disciplined accordingly,” Superintendent Rocky Hanna said in an email. “Part of his discipline includes being suspended without pay and immediate removal as a member of the Chiles High School coaching staff.”
The incident came to light the same week a video went viral showing a Chiles student driving down a road in Gadsden County, shooting a BB gun out the window and shouting a racial epithet.
Chiles Principal Joe Burgess, in a Tuesday letter to Pettis, said no employee is allowed to use profanity or discriminate based on factors including race, gender or national origin. He wrote that coaching children “is a privilege and an honor.”
“You, even as a young coach, have an opportunity to mold boys into men,” Burgess wrote. “You must understand that you are coaching young adults and each athlete has different forms of motivation and backgrounds. What can be said in a certain way to one athlete to get the desired result can crush another one.”
Pettis, a paraprofessional at the north-side high school, will be suspended for five days and required to apologize to the team. He is the son of Chiles head football coach Kevin Pettis.
If Trey Pettis wants to return to coaching in the fall — which Burgess said isn’t guaranteed — he’ll have to apologize to the player and his parents face to face and write apology letters to the boy, his girlfriend and their parents. He’ll have to meet weekly with a coaching mentor and take two ethics training classes.
Pettis also will get an “unsatisfactory” rating for interpersonal skills on his evaluation. Burgess warned that any further incidents of the kind will be grounds for more severe disciplinary action, including termination.