• Mariah Reeve

Chiles assistant football coach suspended

Trey Pettis, assistant football coach at Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee, Fla., is currently suspended without pay for the rest of the academic year due to using racial slurs on Snapchat. Pettis is the son of Kevin Pettis, the head football coach at the school. He is also a former offensive lineman for Florida State University.

Pettis, used inappropriate language in response to a Snapchat photo showing a football player and his girlfriend having dinner. Pettis complained on the social media app that the student wasn’t at football practice and referred to the boy’s girlfriend using a racial slur, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

"This young coach used very poor judgment and has been disciplined accordingly,” Superintendent Rocky Hanna said in an email. “Part of his discipline includes being suspended without pay and immediate removal as a member of the Chiles High School coaching staff."

The other part of his punishment is that he has to apologize to the student and the parents face-to-face, write a letter to the two students involved, as well as their respective families, enroll and complete two ethics classes by the beginning of next school year, and meet with another coach on a weekly basis from now until the end of the school year.

Chiles High Principal Joe Burgess took action right away. He wrote a letter to Pettis on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, stating no staff member is allowed to use profanity or discriminate based on factors including race, gender, or national origin against any student or other staff member.

“You, even as a young coach, have an opportunity to mold boys into men," Burgess wrote. "You must understand that you are coaching young adults and each athlete has different forms of motivation and backgrounds. What can be said in a certain way to one athlete to get the desired result can crush another one.”

At a later date, it will be announced whether he will return in the fall season to coach.