Protestors lined up outside Rapoport Academy Friday afternoon supporting the girls’ basketball head coach who is also the assistant volleyball and track coach Michael Mitchell, after he was told he won’t be returning to the school next year.
Today, the coach learned he has been placed on paid administrative leave until April 8th connected to a grievance he filed after learning he won’t be back next year.
He wouldn’t talk about the allegations he made, but he says something isn’t right at Rapoport.
“He’s a nice person, he’s just really good and we should keep him here,” says Kai Luke, who is a 10th grader at Rapoport.
Coach Mitchell says school leaders told him he is not a good fit at Rapoport.
“I have put in a lot of time with the community I have put in a lot of time with Rapaport students here from the elementary campuses all the way up to the middle school and high school campuses,” Coach Mitchell explains.
Mitchell filed a grievance against the school’s athletic director and today the school placed him on administrative leave while they are investigating his allegations.
“They just kind of want to get me away from here right now so they kind of, I feel like, cover up what’s really the truth behind everything that is going on,” Coach Mitchell continues.
I spoke with the school board president who said they can’t talk about the investigation at this time.
Rapoport parent Samantha Luke set up the protest and says the school is letting him go without an explanation.
“I think some of it has to do with race. I think some of it has to do with other administration staff or other teachers feeling intimidated when someone stands up to them. It’s been said that it’s either my way or not, so I think if you don’t fit into a certain prototype or stereotype then you are told that you are not a good fit,” Luke says.
Parent Destini Stead hopes they chose to keep him.
“Coach Mitchell is part of Rapaport, he is the reason why we are staying here,” Stead says, “He’s just a great person overall.”
“I’m very you know gracious, very humble that I have a lot of supporters here at Rapaport,” Coach Mitchell says.
Students and parents plan to hold a formal protest at the board meeting on April 8th to continue to show their support for Coach Mitchell.