A Chatham County School Athletic Director is out of a job Wednesday. The school board voted to fire coach Johnny Williams, who is accused of losing his temper and roughing up a student.
Many teachers, students and fellow staff said Williams was a good teacher, but others said he had a history of losing his cool with students.
The East Broad Street School teach, athletic director and coach was accused of cursing and pushing a student on Feb. 25.
According to testimony from the student and fellow coaches, Williams confronted the student for skipping band class and going to a gym class instead.
Williams claims the student mouthed off and he took the student to the office to deal with the issue.
That's when the student said Williams pushed the kid up against a wall and threw him down on a couch.
Another teacher said she saw it happen.
"I went to Coach Williams' office and as I walked in, he was on top of [student] – like arms down on him as [student] was laying on a counch that's in his office," said Coach Iesha McIntosh. "I asked Coach Williams, was everything ok, and he got up and he slammed the door in my face."
"I was like, ‘no, no, let me get out' and he wouldn't let me get out," said the student, whose name has been withheld because he is a minor. "Every time I tried to get up, he kept pushing me down."
Williams denied that, saying he fell over some equipment in his office and landed on top of the student.
Williams has been counseled in the past for inappropriate behavior toward students.
Williams was involved in several incidents involving female students, including when a female student was leaning on his leg during a game, kissing a female student on the forehead and also allowing female volleyball players to change in his office when he said he was out in the hall.
The school gave Williams a second chance, but the board said this is where they drew the line.
"I am reluctant to take away a teacher's position," said School Board Member Cornelia Hall. "I think teachers are an investment. However, in this case, we have a situation where this teacher was given a second chance."
"We discussed boundaries and situations that may be hard to explain," she said.
"He didn't even know he was found guilty from that and was given parameters and he thought he was complying," said Williams' defense attorney Tennaile Timbrook.
Williams said he did not receive a memorandum that if another incident happened, it could lead to his termination.
He plans to appeal the decision.
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