ASHTABULA, Ohio -- The Ashtabula School Board voted 5-0 on Monday night to fire Lakeside High School wrestling coach Jerry Brady.
The superintendent of the Ashtabula City School District had recommended that Brady be dismissed after an investigation revealed that he failed to stop one of his wrestlers from assaulting a fellow student.
The Jan. 21 incident was captured by a surveillance camera outside Lakeside Junior High School. Witnesses told investigators that Brady and a 17-year-old wrestler were upset that a 16-year-old student, who is a former member of the team, was carrying a Lakeside wrestling bag.
An investigation revealed that when the 17-year-old tried to take the bag, the younger boy tried to defend himself. The video shows the older boy punching the 16-year-old numerous times in the head and face.
A police investigation concluded that Jerry Brady failed to intervene.
Superintendent Patrick Colucci told Fox 8, “everything falls back to the students at hand, the victim, all of the students that were involved in the situation. We need to look out for the well-being of those students and then based our decision on what we found.”
Last week, the father of the 16-year-old victim demanded Brady’s dismissal.
“I don`t know if it was some spontaneous thing, or some macho thing,” said Tim Moore. “To actually encourage and let that kind of behavior go on, it’s the mentality. We don’t need that kind of mentality from anybody in a responsible position at the school system.”
Ashtabula County prosecutors say Brady is also facing a criminal charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for failing to stop the fight that night. The 17-year-old wrestler has been removed from school and is facing juvenile charges of assault and attempted robbery.
The superintendent says the escalation of a disagreement over a gym bag into an incident with the long-term ramifications, should serve as a teaching moment.
“Having a discussion, going to the proper authority, can derail anything that escalates into this type of incident, and if we're picking up on the cues as educators and if the students feel comfortable in coming to the educators and authority figures, a lot of these things can be definitely deterred," said Colucci.
Brady is being replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Jim Brady, who is his brother.
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