Northwest parents, students protest removal of track coach

JUSTIN -- About two dozen Northwest High School students and parents showed up at the school board meeting Monday night to protest the removal of track coach Michael Lee from the position he has held for at least eight years.

Ne-Ko Henderson said she got wind Saturday that Lee might be removed. Her son, Anton, was kicked off the team after Lee's removal was announced because he was upset and would not respond to the school's athletic director, she told trustees.

C.J. Young said his son, Allen, was also kicked off the team after the announcement Monday. Young said track team members are devoted to Lee, who has helped them win state meets and scholarships.

"He was one of the top coaches," Henderson said. "He was so dedicated to the boys, he would have done this without a paycheck."

The students and parents asked Superintendent Karen Rue and school trustees to investigate.

"I'm asking Dr. Rue to intervene and find out if the firing was justified," Young said. "If there's something we need to know, let us know."

District officials said they could not discuss personnel issues. Rue and board President Mark Schluter assured the group that the district's executive director of athletics, Susan Elza, will look into the matter.

Young said the parents and students will keep coming to board meetings until they have answers.

Martha Deller, 817-431-2231