Local News

Sep 10, 2010 9:23 PM by Ariel Wesler

Lompoc Unified to take action against Cabrillo coach

District officials for Lompoc Unified did not reach a decision today regarding whether to take disciplinary action against Cabrillo High School Basketball Coach Gary West.

He has been on paid administrative leave since he got into a fight with a student on August 25th. Last week, the student returned to school after a three-day suspension. Nearly half the teachers didn't show up for work-- upset at the student's return.

in the last few weeks, a fight between a student and cabrillo basketball coach gary west has the community talking.

"They're under 18, so you can't go fight a minor like it's nothing. We're older. We know better. There's other ways to do things," said Raymond Scott, a Cabrillo High School Parent.

During the fight, the district says the student's shoulder broke a window and he needed stitches. Meanwhile, the district has been waiting for the D.A.'s office to decide whether to file charges against the coach.

"If we were going to make a decision that might impact your life or your career, would you want us to do a knee jerk, quick decision?" said School Board President Sue Schuyler.

But she said they can no longer wait. Tensions have been mounting among teachers and staff.

"There's a little uncertainty and some disappointment that they don't feel that they're being supported in this and that's bleeding out into the other schools and the community at large," Schuyler said.

Even if the D.A. does file charges, Schuyler says it could be months before the case goes to trial. The school board told the superintendent wednesday to take action and help stop the flood of rumors.

"A lot of the reaction is based on facts that are not real accurate and so that then begins to muddy the waters and then people become more concerned," Schuyler said.

District leaders expect to reach a decision on possible disciplinary action by Monday morning.

The district says if it does take disciplinary action some options range from charges for dismissal, suspension without pay, or making a note in Coach West's file.

The school board says if Coach West were charged with a felony, the state would pull his teaching credentials and he would automatically lose his job.

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