Capital High parents want coach reinstated

School Board meeting: Supporters praise Galloway, who lost basketball duties after summer camp incident

Staff writerSeptember 4, 2012 

The Olympia School District received 11 citizen complaints last week about its decision to not renew Capital High School head boys basketball coach Doug Galloway’s contract amid an investigation of “forced sexual contact” between students at a summer basketball camp at Western Washington University, district spokesman Ryan Betz said.

In addition, district officials and parents gathered at a team meeting last Wednesday to discuss the situation.

“It was a chance for them to ask questions and get any information that they felt they weren’t getting,” Betz said. “We wanted to bring the team together and share information and have an open dialogue and try and share everyone’s concerns.”

Galloway, a 1984 Capital graduate, will remain at the school as a physical education teacher and head girls’ golf coach. But on Aug. 22, the district announced he was relieved of his basketball coaching duties because he “didn’t provide adequate supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of the students at the camp.”

On Monday, about 20 Capital parents and supporters attended the Olympia School Board meeting. Seven people spoke, including Marianne Wieland, whose daughter plays on the Capital High golf team.

“He is a fabulous coach, he is a wonderful man,” she told the School Board. “And I think what has been done to him is a travesty.”

Other parents told the School Board that district officials have failed to share enough information about the situation, and that the students involved in the camp incident, not the coach, should be held more accountable.

Betz has declined to provide information about the number of students involved in the incident, which occurred in a Western dormitory during the June basketball camp. He did say the students involved received both athletic and school discipline, but he declined to provide specifics.

The incident was reported to Western’s campus police while the students were at the camp.

Capital High parent Sharon Wallace, whose daughter is a varsity girls basketball player, said she doesn’t know Galloway, but she was compelled to attend the meeting and speak in support of him out of respect.

“It was a poor decision,” she said. “This board needs to step forward and rectify it and ask him to come back.”

Betz said the district has heard from some people who support the district’s decision, but the overwhelming majority are asking for Galloway to be reinstated.

Reporter Meg Wochnick contributed to this report.

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