Basketball Coach Marlon Dorsey of Murra High School in Jackson, Mississippi has been temporarily suspended from his job for beating students with a 5 pound weight belt when they failed to run basketball plays to his satisfaction. Nearly all the students have been beaten at one time or another. One student received belt beatings almost daily.
The students did not rat out the coach for fear of being benched or removed from the team. The team discipline was discovered by a parent (seen in the video) who stopped by the gym to watch practice. The father was outraged.
Coach Dorsey has submitted a written explanation, but not an apology. According to the Washington Post:
“I took it upon myself to save these young men from the destruction of self and what society has accepted and become silent to the issues our students are facing on a daily basis. I am deeply remorseful of my actions to help our students.”
Would apologizing really even help? Three of the sets of parents have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of their sons. Other parents have defended the coach and are working to help retain his job:
“He has made them go to study hall, makes them turn in their homework and makes them give weekly reports of their school work,” Gary Love, whose son plays for Dorsey, told the paper. “It’s been all positive with one bad incident. He made a huge mistake, but he is human.
“It was poor judgment, but he is an outstanding person, determined and driven to make those kids better. I think we all need to step back and give him his job back”
Poor judgement? Were Coach Dorsey coaching in this area, he would be a goner and would probably have had criminal charges filed against him by now. Should he lose his job, even if he were trying to ‘help’ the boys?