LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Parents at a North Las Vegas high school expressed dismay and anger over the firing of a baseball coach.
They told 8 News Now he was unjustly let go before the baseball season started.
Daniel Thomas, 65, coached students at Shadow Ridge High School up until a few weeks ago.
His firing sent the school’s baseball team into disarray, according to parents who spoke before the Clark County School District Board of Trustees on Thursday.
“His unjust firing came abruptly and left us with no chance to tell our stories about coach Thomas, and the positive winning mentality he has brought to the Shadow Ridge baseball team,” Michelle Graf, a parent said.
Several parents, such as Michelle Graf, defended him at the meeting.
Thomas said he spent seven years coaching at Shadow Ridge, and he also took the time to address the firing before board members.
“I have coached high school baseball for 20 years. Ten years in Oregon, 10 years in Las Vegas. I received a platinum Sun Devil Award from the Eldorado High School principal in 2013. He told me it had not been given out for 11 years prior to that,” Thomas said.
Thomas alleged he was terminated due to bullying students, which he and even parents said is untrue.
At one point during his public comments, Thomas was cut off for going over the three minutes allowed to speakers.
“I was cleared 100 percent. I was cleared 100 percent by the vice principal,” Thomas said as the board of trustees announced his time was over.
Several parents told the school board that the coach not only had an impact on the field but also off the field in making their kids better students and better people.
“He knows the game. He teaches the game. He teaches strategy and skills. He teaches life skills. He teaches respect, compassion, work ethic, and he models all of those behaviors for the boys,” Jenni Moss, a parent said.
Parents speculated another parent and student were behind Thomas’s firing.
Shadow Ridge’s baseball team won the state championship in their division last year. A feat students hoped to repeat.
The Clark County School District told 8 News Now it can’t comment on personnel matters.