Reporting Esme Murphy
Filed underCrime, High School Sports Rally, Local, News, Seen On WCCO-TV, Sports, Syndicated Local, Syndicated Sports, Watch + Listen
MOUND, Minn. (WCCO) – Some students and parents at Mound Westonka High School are demanding the school’s athletic director, Dion Koltes, be fired.
It’s in the aftermath of the suspension of six hockey players just hours before they were supposed to take the ice in a playoff game.
The hockey players — along with nine other Mound Westonka students — were suspended after taking part in a “Harlem Shake” video in the school cafeteria last Friday.
The students had permission to make the video with school equiptment, but the school says the dance video got out of hand.
The outrage from students and parents is over the timing of the suspensions.
It happened the day the second-seeded Mound Westonka was slated to take on the seventh-seeded Blake in a section playoff game. The heavily favored Mound Westonka lost to Blake 6-4, putting an end to their shot at the state tournament.
Jeremy Schulz, a suspended player, said his dreams were shattered.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always dreamed of going to state. We had a good chance this year, and it was just taken away from us,” he said.
After the game, a parent took out his anger at Koltes, who handed out the suspensions.
“You have no idea what you did to these kids. No idea,” one parent shouted.
The district announced Monday that it was downgrading the suspensions from two days to one. It also asked the Minnetrista Police Department to void the disorderly conduct tickets the students were issued.
So far, the school has refused to say what school policies were violated.
Andy Seats, another suspended hockey player, said he and his teammates deserve an apology.
On Monday, a number of parents held their students out of school in support of the suspended students.
“I think [the school] overreacted, and the punishment didn’t fit the crime,” said Sandy Togstad, a parent.
Minnetrista Police said in a statement issued Monday that they were called in because students were pushing, shoving and throwing food during the making of the video.
Students and parents plan to bring their demand for the firing Koltes to Monday night’s school board meeting.