NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The president of St. Augustine High School Tuesday replaced the head football coach over the use of the n-word. The move is receiving support from many of the schools alums.
Just hours after a video surfaced of a chant used in a St Augustine pre game locker room, in which the 'n' word was used several times, Coach Nathaniel Jones has been removed.
As he replaced Jones, St. Aug President and CEO Kenneth St Charles issued a statement saying, “Following a review of our football program we have decided to go in a new direction,” and many alums are happy.
“It’s a word that people utilize for shock value, but they need to understand that it has a connotation that’s inappropriate, and should not be used,” said St. Aug alum, and Civil Court Judge Kern Reese.
The word is especially offensive, to alums like Melvin Howard, who played in the city’s first interracial football game in 1967, and was called the n-word, many times.
“It was to be demeaning, and take away humanity, and we have come a long way to relegate that to the past, and to the trash bin of history,” said Reese.
People who live in the neighborhood around St. Aug say the standards of this school are high, and even though they say the usage of the n-word is often confusing, they appreciate the decision to remove the coach.
“Even if it wasn’t in a school, if it was on my job, it would have the same consequences. It’s something that we shouldn’t accept,” said a parent, who wanted us to call her Debbie, in front of the school Tuesday.
Some say they want to use this event, as a teaching moment.
“I am furious I had to speak to my 8-year old son about this situation,” said St. Aug alum and New Orleans First City Court Clerk Austin Badon.
And when it comes to action against the coach, Badon believes more punishment is needed.
“The coach who spoke this if he has a teaching certificate should forefeit that certificate, and not work with children anymore,” said Badon.
“For it to be utilized by a person in authority and leadership in a place like St. Aug is totally inappropriate,” said Reese.
St. Aug’s CEO has appointed assistant football coach Kenneth Dorsey Jr. as interim head coach.
He has served on the school’s coaching staff for five years.