So……..we left off with the Samsel lawsuit where Greg Abernathy had to admit under oath that he really had no idea if I have ever lied on DCR about anything. He was simply spreading gossip about me with no facts to support any of his claims. Andy Orr and Donnie Weeks were behind Abernathy’s actions and statements. Boy oh boy, a lot has happened since that deposition was released. Only now can I discuss some of the things that have transpired since that time.
First, in an ill-fated attempt to discredit me and Scott Samsel, Coach Gaspard decided it would be wise to coerce 9 under age football players to sign what the district’s attorneys called a ‘sworn affidavit’ (holding them liable for PERJURY no less) making false claims against Coach Samsel (in regards to allegedly overhearing Samsel call Principal Killough a bitch during a football meeting in 2013), AND they did this without the consent of the students’ parents and without their parents’ knowledge, submitting these ‘affidavits’ into evidence and making them an official part of this lawsuit. The boys were told that EVERYONE was signing this statement and that no one would ever see them. The students’ were told that this was a favor to help Coach G out of a jam. It should be noted that all 9 players were seniors in high school and asked to sign in the middle of football season by Coach Gaspard, who was one of their football coaches. It should also be noted that all 9 players are minority students (7- black, 1-Hispanic and 1-Arabic). While the case could be made that the demographics of the football team are 60% black, 39% white and 1% other races, I find it no coincidence that these students were targeted and know that Hispanic and Arabic students make up 1% of the football team at best. I also find it humorous because at least 3 of these students were NOT even on the football team at the time in question, therefore making it impossible for them to have heard a conversation in this alleged football meeting. One more point of interest is that one of the students coerced into signing is already a part of the OCR’s investigation into our school district for being wrongfully expelled for allegedly holding up 3 fingers in a picture. The student was holding up 3 fingers bc his football jersey number was 3. The school tried to claim it was a gang sign. This student and his family are well known supporters of Coach Samsel, and it was widely felt that the school did this as retaliation or punishment of their support for Samsel. So I think it was incredibly moronic for Coach G to coerce him of all students into signing this affidavit. And since when were minors allowed to sign any kind of sworn testimony or documents without parental consent or representation?!!! How would you feel as a parent if this was your child?
Quick side note here: Coach Gaspard was the ONLY person to testify that Coach Samsel ever called Principal Killough a bitch. In fact, other football coaches present at that same meeting, signed sworn affidavits that Coach Samsel never said that. Without any substantiation of his claims, Coach G used the boys to validate his testimony.
When I first saw these affidavits on the PACER system, I reached out to some of the students and parents of the students to verify these accusations. (Some of the individuals involved I know personally). Unfortunately, the parents were very angry that this had happened to their boys without their knowledge or consent. Many of the boys involved claimed that the statement on the affidavit was not true and that they were simply doing a favor for Coach G. I did not release this information immediately upon discovering it for several reasons. Below are just a few of my reasons.
1. Students and parents were fearful of their boys being retaliated against if they spoke out publicly against these claims. The boys were all seniors and I did not want to jeopardize their graduating or possible scouting opportunities. Most were in fear that this could and would happen. One student had already had grades changed at Killough’s demand to a teacher. This was documented in one of the sworn affidavits submitted as evidence in this case.
2. The boys were under age.
3. The parents had legal issues to consider and had to determine how to proceed. The only way to counter the affidavits was for them to seek their own legal counsel. I will never do anything to jeopardize someone else’s legal situation.
Now, I think it is incredibly funny how this case started out with many wild and serious accusations hurled at Coach Samsel and used as justification for his termination as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. It makes me wonder why they ended up putting all of this focus on whether or not Samsel called Killough a bitch or not. If the really serious allegations were in fact true, why has the district, Killough, Gaspard and the district’s attorneys wasted so much time on this one alleged meeting and Killough being called a bitch?! I am sure lots of people have been guilty of calling their boss a name at some point and time, but Samsel always denied this happening and Gaspard was the only person that testified it happened until he coerced those 9 football players. Why has more time and attention not been given to the serious allegations? Maybe because they have all been proven untrue, and the district was desperate and grasping at straws.
What happened next?
Some of the players’ parents did seek out Samsel’s attorney and signed their own sworn affidavits along with one of the boys who is now 18 and had previously signed one of Gaspard’s affidavits. These were submitted into the case to counter the prior affidavits. Another point that needs to be noted here…………
When word got back to OBHS that I was aware of what they had done to these boys and was speaking to some of the parents ands students about it, Coach Gaspard went back to the boys a second time and tried to coerce them into signing a second affidavit, stating that they were not coerced into signing the first affidavit. Keep in mind that ALL OF THIS is happening DURING THE SCHOOL DAY ON SCHOOL TIME!!!!!!!! None of the boys signed Gaspard’s second affidavit. Is this really ok with parents?!! What if these were your boys? And is it really ok that all of this is happening without parental consent and during the school day?!!! Are we paying these people to use their time in this way?!!!!!
The actions of OBHS’s Killough and Gaspard have now subjected the district and the school to further investigations by OCR for targeting minority students. I can name you several white senior football players that would have been in that alleged meeting. Why weren’t they asked to sign anything? If these people are allowed to keep their jobs at OBHS, this district will be continuously impacted in a negative way. Students rights and best interests will not be considered, respected or upheld. It should also be noted that at the time I discovered all of this, I did make the school board members and the superintendent aware of the situation.
More information to come, because this is far from everything. Rombaugh has now been terminated as Athletic Director. Burse’s personal agenda will be exposed and more unbelievable actions will be shown coming up very soon! Let all of this digest first and see what you think after reading the documents attached below.
Link to student affidavits:
Link to parent affidavits:
Attorney’s Memorandum Brief on the Student Affidavits: