ROCKWALL, TX (WCMH) - A girls’ soccer coach at a Texas high school has been placed on leave after a team photo surfaced that some in the community find offensive.
The photo shows the girls’ varsity soccer team at Rockwall Heath High School giving the camera the middle finger as their coach stands behind them.
“Even if the kids are 18, that should not be happening in school at all,” parent Todd Christian told KTVT. “I believe the man should be fired on the spot.”
Coach Marco Duran was not fired, but he was placed on paid leave per the school district’s policy.
According to the school’s website, Duran has been a coach and teacher for 16 years and has been at Rockwall Heath High School for 10 of those years.
“I would have to say, looking at the photo and looking at the man smiling, he absolutely had to not be using judgement,” Christian said.
Many parents agreed with Christian and were upset about the photo, but some have come to Duran’s defense. They claim Duran was photobombing — something he is known to frequently do — when the picture was snapped and had no idea the girls were flipping the bird.
Other parents aren’t upset over the photo but they still question Duran’s judgement.
“Because, of course, social media, everybody sees everything,” said Ashanti Wright. “All it takes is one post and it’s gone everywhere. Obviously he didn’t care enough about his job or his students to not let them post something like that.”
The school district said it has taken actions against the students in the photo, but declined to provide more details.