Coach who reported teacher-student relationship punished?Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX - A Valley track coach says he has been given the cold shoulder because of what he knows.
Now several of his supporters are looking for some answers. He says he blew the whistle on a teacher he heard was having sexual relations with a student but he claims the school district blew him off. Police later ended up arresting that teacher several months later but the district says its decision to ask the coach to leave has nothing to do with any of that.
Erwin Jones had been coaching an after school track club at Shadow Mountain High school for 10 years. Over 70 students are part of his non-profit Phoenix Bobcats and many of them go on to compete in college. Nevertheless now the Bobcats will have to find a new home because while the club pays the Paradise Valley School District to use the track and has a contract until June, the district is ordering them to leave.
Jones admits, "We begged, we begged them to please let us allow us to stay until the end of June and they said there was too much tension between the administration and Erwin Jones."
Jones says he believes that tension has at least something to do with 46-year-old Tom Krepelka. You may remember police arrested the Shadow Mountain science teacher in March for an alleged sexual encounter with a 17-year-old female student and the school placed him on administrative leave.
Nevertheless, Jones says he told the school about the problem back in October and was ignored.
A district spokesperson says the district is asking Jones to leave simply because the school needs to use the track although they will not say why they needed to use the track for.
Concerned parents showed up at the districts appeals meeting and those who could not sent letters but the district's decision will stand.
Jones says his main focus is the kids. "You know, I don't know what I'm going to tell the kids."
As for the future of their club Jones admits, "I don't have a Plan B." The district says it is trying to find a comparable track where the coach can move to but there is still no word on when or where that will be.