It was a packed house last night, as students and parents had plenty to say at the Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting.
On Tuesday night, the board met for its regular meeting, which began with public comment. While some public comment addressed topics like budget amendments and No Excuses University, most parents and students in attendance wanted to talk about the resignation of Amarillo High School volleyball coach Kori Clements. Clements resigned last week, citing a parent’s “political pressure,” which many residents have attributed to the school board itself.
Parents, educators, and students spoke during the meeting, demanding answers on the departure of Clements. Gloria Castleberry addressed the board, asking if the district administration trusted Clements as a coach.
“My question to the board is did you trust the decisions Kori Clements was making,” Castleberry asked.
Amarillo High volleyball player Chelsea Freeman was one of many students who spoke, demanding that AISD consider the wishes of the team’s players in the departure of Clements.
“If this is really for us…please don’t let the desire of one overrule the desire of many,” Freeman said.
Don Tipps, a local businessman, addressed the board during public comment in support of Clements, saying he was displeased with the administration’s handling of Clements’ situation.
“You have allowed one person to run off one of the top coaches in the area,” Tipps said.
Amarillo resident Keith Grays also spoke, saying while he is a proud graduate of Tascosa High School, he supported Amarillo High students on Tuesday night. Grays also addressed an allegation that a member of the school board visited Clements, demanding playing time for one of the team’s players.
“It would be like Ginger Nelson knocking on my door and asking why I haven’t paid my taxes,” Grays said.
Grays also called for an investigation into the allegations, and said if the allegations are true, the board members involved should “resign and leave the district with dignity.”
During the meeting, board members made no responses to any of the comments from the public.