MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The coach of a northern Minnesota high school football team is speaking out amid the criminal investigation into a sexual assault between players, which led to the cancellation of the team’s season.
Proctor Public Schools Superintendent John Engelking says the school board accepted the resignation of Proctor High School football coach Derek Parendo Monday night. He is also stepping down from his teaching duties, and will be on paid personal leave for the rest of the school year.
Several Proctor students told WCCO last week that two players held down another teammate, while a third used an item to sodomize him. Photos and videos of the assault were spread via Snapchat. Students say all players involved have not been in class since the incident came to the attention of school leaders.
On Tuesday, Parendo explained his decision to quit after accusations of player misconduct canceled the season.
“I felt I’ve always been singled out. I’ve been targeted. This is just the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Parendo said.
He says he was not at the school when the alleged attack happened, but he says people are threatening his family.
“When the principal told me he didn’t know if I was going to be safe in school, that was it. The environment that I have lived in for the last 13 years has been horrible, and I’ve tried to move past it and around it, and I’ve seen very little movement in the change in environments,” he said.
Parendo believes members of the school board and administration treat him differently because of his Native American heritage. The school district wouldn’t comment on that.
Proctor’s police department, school board and Superintendent Engelking have not revealed any information about the investigation, citing privacy laws.
Police expect their investigation to wrap up this week, according to CBS 3 Duluth.
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