UPDATED: Softball Team Protesting Coach's Suspension

The suspension of a local girl's softball coach, created some chaos on Friday and there were rumors more would come Monday.

But according to the Grifton School Principal, it was all quiet.

Friday it was a different story when both parents and students stood outside the school in support of their Athletic Director and softball Coach Haywood Dillahunt.

He was suspended with pay Thursday.

According to the Superintendent, it was their decision not the Principal's but she could not say why, due to personnel laws.

Although parents in the area say they believe it had to do with a softball player who got injured during a game and was allowed to return, after the player's parent gave the OK. Some parents say they agree with the protest.

No students were suspended for the protest, according to the school system.

We tried to get in touch with Dillahunt for comment but were unsuccessful.

Previous Story:

The suspension of a softball coach has apparently prompted some students to refuse to go into school Friday.

Grifton Elementary School's softball coach Haywood Dillahunt was put on suspension with pay. The school's principal and the Pitt County Schools athletic director says they told the softball team of the suspension on Thursday.

About 9:15 a.m. Friday, there were reports that students and parents were gathered outside the school. Upon WITN's arrival at the school, shortly after 9:30 a.m., a person on the scene said the students and parents had gone inside the school.

Heather Mayo, Public Information Officer for Pitt County Schools says, because the suspension is a personnel issue, they cannot legally discuss the reason for it. However, Mayo says Dillahunt has the option to sign a release form that would allow the school system to talk about why Dillahunt was suspended.

Parents have been called to school to discuss the issue. Some told WITN there is confusion over whether Dillahunt was suspended or fired.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Parent of Protest Participant Location: Grifton on Mar 20, 2010 at 09:04 PM
    The bottom line is that Mr. Dillahunt did not follow Pitt County regulations for sports related injuries. It does not matter that the girl's parents said it was okay for her to return to the game. It was Mr. Dillahunt's responsibility to remove her from the game, for her own safety. I think if the school's administration had handled the situation better the chaos of the protest could have been avoided. A letter home to the parents would have been a good start. We are talking about a teacher who has been part of this school for a very long time....a more empathetic approach would have been wise. If Sortino stands a snow ball's chance in hell of leading this school to a successful future she MUST work at rebuilding trust. If no one trusts her (teachers, students, staff and parents) they will not be led by her.
  • by Mircale Location: Hyde on Mar 20, 2010 at 07:27 PM
    I think you should give ole Dillahut (Budda) his job BACK. If he is as creative and imaginative as a softball coach with young girls as he is a referee in basketball games he will be hard to beat!!!
  • by Bored Location: Pitt County on Mar 19, 2010 at 04:54 AM
    Grifton must be a dull place to live if this is what everyone is talking about twenty-four hours a day. Surely there's other news?
  • by Irriated Location: Greenville on Mar 17, 2010 at 09:26 AM
    Not sure why everyone is worried about Perry's supplement. It is a standard supplement. Middle School Ads get $25 per sport at their school plus 2 weeks of their monthly salary (which is a state salary) added to that plus any coaching supplement they receive (which is also pre-set by the county based on years of experience. This is normally spread out over a 10 month period. Since he is only overseeing 2 sports right now he will only get the money for those 2 sports. AD money is non-negotiable, it is what it is. The salary schedule for ADs and coaches has not changed in over 20 years!!
  • by Karen & Richard Carpenter Location: Hollywood on Mar 16, 2010 at 04:22 PM
    To "wrong".....to live....bright lace and promises.... one kiss for luck and we're on our way.....we've only just begun..............
  • by wrong on Mar 16, 2010 at 02:39 PM
    We've only just begun.....
  • by the End on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:33 AM
    Oh well! Over and done with it. Time to move on. You people made 187 posts too many!
  • by just wondering... on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:23 AM
    why after reading these posts anyone could have a problem with a voucher program, homeschooling, and private education!
  • by Pamela Wheeler Location: Grifton on Mar 16, 2010 at 08:57 AM
    To Connie Posted 3/16 9:59 - What a great post...so many facts rather than opinions. My only addition would be that I think it is time for & the responsibility of the school administration to let the students AND parents know what to expect going forward with the softball team (not to mention many other issues) as these girls have put a great amount of time and effort into getting ready for this season. They deserve the chance to play and my daughter (the injured player) will be right there with her team, along with us, to cheer them on. Girls, focus on your grades, give whoever is coaching a chance (I don't think Dillahunt would want you all to be disrespectful). Life is too short, play the game and enjoy your time together. Show that your coach has taught you how to adapt and overcome adversity. Thank you to all who have wished my daughter well. We hope for her continued recovery and the best for Coach Dillahunt!
  • by GMS Location: Grifton on Mar 16, 2010 at 08:15 AM
    Thank you Connie, well said!!!!!

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