Mt. Zion football coach accused of putting hands on student

by: Mark Winne Updated:

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has confirmed Mt. Zion High School's head football coach is under investigation into whether he put his hands on a student.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne questioned the superintendent and the coach Friday over the allegations.

Superintendent Luvenia Jackson told Winne the whole thing was caught on video but she is proceeding carefully because the quality is low and she wants to know more about the context.

"We viewed it and immediately launched a full investigation, so we are in that process," Jackson said about the video.

Jackson said she has launched investigations administratively and by the new Clayton County school police.

Coach Ervin Starr heads the football program at Mt. Zion High School but Jackson said she's not playing games with the investigation launched Thursday night.

"I love kids, I love working with kids. That's my passion. Right now, there's an investigation going on and that's about all I can say about that, because of the investigation," Starr told Winne.

The video was posted to Channel 2's Facebook page and elsewhere.

"We are trying to determine exactly what happened, if there was any physical contact," Jackson said.

Jackson said her key questions involve whether Starr physically grabbed a student and engaged in other provocative behavior, though she's not jumping to conclusions.

She said she also wants to know who on the poor quality video used profanity.

"Has he acknowledged his presence in the video?" Winne asked Jackson.

"He acknowledged his presence in the video," Jackson answered.

The superintendent said the video was shot last spring but only came to the attention of school authorities this week

School officials said they had some knowledge of the incident soon after it happened.

"The administration here at Mt. Zion supports him and believes that he is doing a great job with the children, and the coaching staff," Jackson said about Starr.

"Again, I love kids and I love working with them," Starr told Winne.

The superintendent said she needs to learn more about what led to the incident on the video.

She wants to be fair to the man leading the Mt. Zion football program as well as look after the best interests of students.



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