ROCKWALL, Texas (CBS11) – A soccer coach at Rockwall-Heath High School is suspended from work after a photo that shows players making obscene gestures was shared through social media. On Friday night, the varsity soccer team played their rival school, Rockwall High School.
CBS11 hasn’t heard from the coach seen posing in the picture, but parents say he did not deserve to take the fall.
“He’s a good guy,” said parent Carl Vinesett. “He preaches respect to the girls.”
Vinesett’s daughter is a goalkeeper on the team. She wasn’t in the photo that shows several players flashing the middle finger, neither was Paola and Stephen Fite’s daughter.
“She didn’t want to be a part of it,” said Paola Fite.
“Kids make bad decisions sometimes. I think it’s kind of getting blown out of proportion,” said Stephen Fite.
The coach, Marco Duran, was placed on paid leave Monday when the district found out about the image. The school’s website says he’s been at the school for 10 years. He’s also a sign language teacher.
“A lot of parents are really supportive because they know his intention wasn’t bad,” said Paola Fite.
“From what our daughter said, he just wanted to get in the picture, but he didn’t necessarily know what was going on,” said Stephen Fite.
Parents say the girls who made the gesture were suspended.
“They’ve owned up to it. They’ve paid the price for it. For him to pay the price is ridiculous,” said Vinesett.
Paola Fite is using the controversy to teach her daughter to think twice about her actions.
“I did tell her, people can see what you do, and it doesn’t go away, even if you delete it. I really encourage her to stay away from anything negative or anything that might be taken as inappropriate,” said Paola Fite.
In a statement, the school district called the photo “disturbing.” The picture was taken in December.