Dec 9, 2010
School District Denies Wrongdoing Relating To Coach Who Whipped Players

Jackson Public Schools officials are denying any wrongdoing related to the Murrah High School basketball coach who has acknowledged whipping students.

The district’s response to a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the coach’s alleged victims asks that the suit be dismissed and the plaintiffs pay the costs and attorney fees.

Both JPS attorney JoAnne Shepherd and Lisa Ross, the attorney for three basketball players Marlon Dorsey allegedly whipped, said the district’s response speaks for itself.

“Those things that the school district were able to admit were admitted. Those allegations that needed to be denied, we denied them, Shepherd said.

JPS makes 16 defenses that include, among other things, the plaintiffs did not exercise or exhaust administrative remedies available to them.”

The district also is arguing the plaintiffs are barred legally from making some of the claims they allege in the suit.

The district’s response was “typical, Ross said.

They want to blame the victims when these young people had been entrusted to their care, Ross said. The district had a duty to protect them from Coach Dorsey, and the district failed to do so.”

In late October, allegations arose that Dorsey, a first-year coach, whipped players with a weightlifting belt, even though corporal punishment has been banned in the district since 1991.

Dorsey later released a statement in which he admitted whipping the student athletes, but said he did so to save them.

Since then, players and parents have been divided over whether Dorsey should stay or go. Some parents and players have said Dorsey was making positive changes but used poor judgment when he whipped players.

School officials have not said what, if any action, has been taken against Dorsey.

In early November, Ross sued JPS, Dorsey, assistant coach Brandon Sanders, Murrah High Principal Freddrick Murray, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools Greta Terry and Athletics Director Anna Jackson.

Those players’ parents also have filed misdemeanor charges against Dorsey in Jackson Municipal Court.

The district’s response looks like “a standard answer to a lawsuit and it preserves many options for defense arguments down the road, said Matthew Hall, an associate professor and Jessie D. Puckett Jr., lecturer at the University of Mississippi law school.

Shepherd noted it is still early in the litigation, and the facts will be fleshed out later.

Said Ross: We’re ready to move forward.”
School District Denies Wrongdoing Relating To Coach Who Whipped Players

The Clarion-Ledger (Miss.)

Jackson Public Schools officials are denying any wrongdoing related to the Murrah High School basketball coach who has acknowledged whipping students.

The district’s response to a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the coach’s alleged victims asks that the suit be dismissed and the plaintiffs pay the costs and attorney fees.

Both JPS attorney JoAnne Shepherd and Lisa Ross, the attorney for three basketball players Marlon Dorsey allegedly whipped, said the district’s response speaks for itself.

“Those things that the school district were able to admit were admitted. Those allegations that needed to be denied, we denied them, Shepherd said.

JPS makes 16 defenses that include, among other things, the plaintiffs did not exercise or exhaust administrative remedies available to them.”

The district also is arguing the plaintiffs are barred legally from making some of the claims they allege in the suit.

The district’s response was “typical, Ross said.

They want to blame the victims when these young people had been entrusted to their care, Ross said. The district had a duty to protect them from Coach Dorsey, and the district failed to do so.”

In late October, allegations arose that Dorsey, a first-year coach, whipped players with a weightlifting belt, even though corporal punishment has been banned in the district since 1991.

Dorsey later released a statement in which he admitted whipping the student athletes, but said he did so to save them.

Since then, players and parents have been divided over whether Dorsey should stay or go. Some parents and players have said Dorsey was making positive changes but used poor judgment when he whipped players.

School officials have not said what, if any action, has been taken against Dorsey.

In early November, Ross sued JPS, Dorsey, assistant coach Brandon Sanders, Murrah High Principal Freddrick Murray, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools Greta Terry and Athletics Director Anna Jackson.

Those players’ parents also have filed misdemeanor charges against Dorsey in Jackson Municipal Court.

The district’s response looks like “a standard answer to a lawsuit and it preserves many options for defense arguments down the road, said Matthew Hall, an associate professor and Jessie D. Puckett Jr., lecturer at the University of Mississippi law school.

Shepherd noted it is still early in the litigation, and the facts will be fleshed out later.

Said Ross: We’re ready to move forward.”






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