Parents of a Jefferson High freshman are outraged that a basketball coach told their son he was cut from the team because of his special need.
Trustees are meeting tonight in Boulder to discuss the treatment of the male student who was recently cut from the basketball team. The coach told the student he was cut because of his disability, the parents say.
Dave Kosola, the father of the boy, alleges that Rex Sonsteng, basketball coach and math teacher, told the student that because he has a disability he couldn’t learn the plays.
Kosola says his son has mental issues and is taking part in a special program at school. He said if the coach would have said that his skill set was not good enough and therefore he was cut from the team, the issue would have been over. But the language used is serious cause for concern, Kosola said.
Principal and Superintendent Jim Whealon said he’s hired an attorney to investigate the matter.
“We have an ongoing investigation with no conclusion yet,” Whealon said, adding that the attorney, from Missoula, is a neutral party.
“It’s just to ensure that due process is followed,” Whealon said.
The seven-member board will meet today at 6:45 p.m. at the JHS library. Sonsteng is still working at the school. Sonsteng declined to comment on the situation.
“We don’t typically place a teacher who has a contract on paid administrative leave — only if there is a danger and I don’t think that’s the issue,” Whealon said.
Kosola says his son deserves an apology.
“I’m not saying he should be fired but he should be accountable for his actions. This is a black eye for people with disabilities,” he said.
Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or firstname.lastname@example.org