HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Parents of Saint James High School’s wrestling team are speaking out about concerns they have with the team and its coach.
Parents said the coach has allowed a convicted felon to accompany the team on trips and ride the school bus to games with students.
These parents allege the school and school district are aware and did not alert them before allowing the felon to ride the bus.
“At no point in time should there ever be a convicted felon riding on an athletic bus with students that has not been approved by the school district,” said one parents. “The school does not have the right to make decisions for myself as a parent.”
The woman they’re talking about is Lynne Slay, who was sentenced to five years in jail for driving under the influence and causing a deadly crash in 2009.
“They’re brushing it under the table; parents are not going to. This is going to get bigger and bigger unless they know for a fact that my child is protected,” said another parent.
Parents also spoke out Tuesday, defending the coach and his wife.
“I’m here to simply say that the convicted felon is a person who has done her time. She is the teams biggest cheerleader and the entire team loves having her,” said Stephanie Schoot. “This is simply a witch hunt. A witch hunt targeting young athletes, a coach, and a coaches wife.”
Parents also are concerned about alleged hazing on the wrestling team.
Video obtained by WMBF News shows students hitting each other in the locker room with a leather belt.
“The child that participated in the hazing that was struck with a belt had visible welts, red inflamed, it looked pretty painful from the photo," said one parent.
Horry County Schools released a statement to WMBF News:
The District Office received an anonymous call on January 4, 2019, from a woman who identified herself as the parent of an SJHS wrestler. She identified multiple areas of concern which included the two items noted in your email below. One of her concerns included a coach’s wife who was riding the bus to and from wrestling matches with the team. It was learned that the coach’s wife was convicted of a crime in 2012 and served her time. It wasn’t until the parent called on January 4th, that the District had knowledge of the situation and since that time, she has not been allowed to ride the bus.
A District investigation is ongoing into the allegations of hazing which stems from an incident from last season. At this point, multiple interviews have been conducted, and the allegations are actively under investigation. Again, the District had no knowledge of this allegation until the parent called on January 4th.