Jurupa Valley School District Officials have replaced the varsity high school football coach at Patriot High School following hazing allegations. Beverly White reports from Jurupa Valley for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Aug.25, 2012.
A high school community in Riverside County has been rocked by allegations of hazing against the varsity football coach, who was removed from his coaching position.
School just got under way at Patriot High School in Jurupa Valley, northwest of Riverside, when coach Scott Pearne had his duties overseeing the Warriors removed after an allegation of locker room hazing surfaced.
Jurupa Unified School District sent a letter to parents and issued a statement on its decision, though it provided no details of the alleged hazing.
"The District took immediate action to initiate a full investigation and requested local law enforcement to conduct their own investigation. Law enforcement officials determined that there was no criminal behavior involved," said Tamara Elzig, assistant superintendent of personnel services, in a statement issued by the disict.
"Nonetheless, we cannot and will not tolerate individual or group behavior that compromises a person’s dignity. The Patriot High School varsity football coach has been replaced."
Parent Franchesca Joubert said she approved of the district's actions.
"Not only should they remove the head coach or the coach. They should remove everyone who's involved, didn't look into the matter. The principal should be removed. Everyone," she said.
But several students told NBC4 they think the district overreacted.
Pearne, who was about the begin his third coaching season, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that he had refused the district's request that he resign.
"They felt they needed to replace me," he said. "I felt that was not the right thing to do, and I wouldn’t resign. They’re going forward."
Pearne said it was "an issue in the locker room."
"Kids were hazing other kids. I’ll take responsibility for that, but I did not know it was going on, and I thought we could correct it," he said.
Elsewhere on its website, the newspaper reported that the school district learned of the alleged hazing last week when a woman attending a school board meeting described events she witnessed among football players.
The players were "dressed up in girl attire," the woman told school board members, describing a boy in an apparent thong bathing suit.
Pearne retains his teaching position at the school.