Jun 22, 2011
Coach Who Hit Student-Player Gets Charges Dropped

The assault charges against Greeley West High School basketball coach Bill Whitehead have been dismissed with an agreement that he stay out of trouble for the next year and take a class on classroom management.

In May, Whitehead was issued a summons for simple assault by Greeley police after a student and several witnesses told police Whitehead slapped a 16-year-old basketball player on the bare stomach as punishment for misbehaving in class. Police reports also state that Whitehead slapped the boy on the head two other times.

But all charges were dismissed on the case last week, after Assistant City Attorney Bob Choat met with Whitehead’s attorney, and they agreed to the conditions.

“Since Mr. Whitehead hasn’t been in trouble before, there should be no problem for him to remain law-abiding for a year, Choat said. He also agreed to take the ‘I Can Do It’ classroom management class within the next year.”

Legally called a “diversion agreement, the arrangement with the city means Whitehead didn’t have to enter a plea in the case, and charges were dismissed. However, Choat said prosecutors could re-file the charges later it there is a problem.

The assistant city attorney also said they agreed to the diversion agreement because Whitehead’s attorney told them he wanted to keep his job with the school district and needed to have the charges dismissed.

Contacted at home about the case, Whitehead said he couldn’t comment on the advice of his attorney.

In reports released by Greeley police this week, Greeley police officer Todd Pillard, who is also the school resource officer for Greeley West, investigated the April 19 incident.

According to the report, the 16-year-old student, who will not be identified because of his age, was causing significant behavioral issues” in a classroom at the school. Later, other students and the teacher in the class said they were all just joking around, and the boy was not misbehaving.

Pillard reported that the classroom teacher leaned out of her classroom door and asked Whitehead for assistance with the student, who was a basketball player under Whitehead.

Police reports state Whitehead called the boy out of class into the hallway, told him to lift up his shirt and said, This is going to hurt. He then allegedly slapped the boy with an open hand on his stomach, leaving a large red mark.

Reports state Whitehead then took the boy back into class, told him to show the students the red mark on his stomach, and said the problem “has been handled.” As the boy started to return to his desk, Whitehead slapped him on the back of the head, according to the police report.

After Whitehead left the class, the boy sat at his desk a few minutes, became visibly upset, then stood up, overturned his desk and walked out of the classroom.

Later, according to the boy, he was walking in the halls and was stopped by Whitehead, who apologized for hitting him.

After the boy’s parents complained to the school principal, police said Whitehead sent an email to the boy’s mother, who is also a school district employee, working at Northridge High School.

Police said that Whitehead, in his email to the mother, said, “My actions were understandable and regrettably in conflict with what I am about to say, my fervent hope is that you and (the victim) understand that my motives were to assist a colleague, not to in a way upset or emotionally scare (the student).

Whitehead included in his email, “I made a mistake, I wish it had not happened, and I am truly sorry.

The parents of the boy said they didn’t know if they should file charges in the incident, because their son “has a promising career in basketball, and a trusting relationship with Whitehead, the coach.

When the charges were filed, Whitehead was suspended from teaching. Whitehead said he hopes to meet soon with Greeley-Evans School District 6 officials to determine if he can return to duty as a teacher and coach., Coach Who Hit Student-Player Gets Charges Dropped

Greeley Tribune (Colo.), Mike Peters

http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20110621/NEWS/706219964/1007&parentprofile=1001

The assault charges against Greeley West High School basketball coach Bill Whitehead have been dismissed with an agreement that he stay out of trouble for the next year and take a class on classroom management. In May, Whitehead was issued a summons for simple assault by Greeley police after a student and several witnesses told police Whitehead slapped a 16-year-old basketball player on the bare stomach as punishment for misbehaving in class. Police reports also state that Whitehead slapped the boy on the head two other times. But all charges were dismissed on the case last week, after Assistant City Attorney Bob Choat met with Whitehead’s attorney, and they agreed to the conditions. Since Mr. Whitehead hasn’t been in trouble before, there should be no problem for him to remain law-abiding for a year, Choat said. He also agreed to take the ‘I Can Do It’ classroom management class within the next year.” Legally called a “diversion agreement, the arrangement with the city means Whitehead didn’t have to enter a plea in the case, and charges were dismissed. However, Choat said prosecutors could re-file the charges later it there is a problem. The assistant city attorney also said they agreed to the diversion agreement because Whitehead’s attorney told them he wanted to keep his job with the school district and needed to have the charges dismissed. Contacted at home about the case, Whitehead said he couldn’t comment on the advice of his attorney. In reports released by Greeley police this week, Greeley police officer Todd Pillard, who is also the school resource officer for Greeley West, investigated the April 19 incident. According to the report, the 16-year-old student, who will not be identified because of his age, was causing significant behavioral issues” in a classroom at the school. Later, other students and the teacher in the class said they were all just joking around, and the boy was not misbehaving. Pillard reported that the classroom teacher leaned out of her classroom door and asked Whitehead for assistance with the student, who was a basketball player under Whitehead. Police reports state Whitehead called the boy out of class into the hallway, told him to lift up his shirt and said, This is going to hurt. He then allegedly slapped the boy with an open hand on his stomach, leaving a large red mark. Reports state Whitehead then took the boy back into class, told him to show the students the red mark on his stomach, and said the problem “has been handled.” As the boy started to return to his desk, Whitehead slapped him on the back of the head, according to the police report. After Whitehead left the class, the boy sat at his desk a few minutes, became visibly upset, then stood up, overturned his desk and walked out of the classroom. Later, according to the boy, he was walking in the halls and was stopped by Whitehead, who apologized for hitting him. After the boy’s parents complained to the school principal, police said Whitehead sent an email to the boy’s mother, who is also a school district employee, working at Northridge High School. Police said that Whitehead, in his email to the mother, said, “My actions were understandable and regrettably in conflict with what I am about to say, my fervent hope is that you and (the victim) understand that my motives were to assist a colleague, not to in a way upset or emotionally scare (the student). Whitehead included in his email, “I made a mistake, I wish it had not happened, and I am truly sorry. The parents of the boy said they didn’t know if they should file charges in the incident, because their son “has a promising career in basketball, ” and a trusting relationship with Whitehead, the coach. When the charges were filed, Whitehead was suspended from teaching. Whitehead said he hopes to meet soon with Greeley-Evans School District 6 officials to determine if he can return to duty as a teacher and coach.






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