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High School Football Coach Fired Because Officials 'Didn't Approve Of The Ratio Of Black To White Students'

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A high school football coach said he was fired because of the amount of black students that played on his team. A football field is pictured on April 26, 2008 in Audubon, New Jersey. Photo: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images for Reebok

By Andrew N. White, International Business Times - Business

A former New Jersey high school football coach, whose players were predominantly black, said he believes officials relieved him of his duties because of the number of minorities on the team.

Nick Strom, who coached and taught history at Camden Catholic High School, received the news on Friday from school president Mary Whipkey and principal Heather Crisci that his teaching contract would not be renewed for next year.

Strom, who is white, claimed he was also asked to resign as the school’s golf and football coach, despite his team having a winning record of 34-6 in four years.

The 30-year-old said he was informed that day by a Catholic Teachers Union representative that he could leave the premises.

"I think this is from me not conforming with their viewpoints on what they want the student body and the football team to look like. I've tried to build this program into one that's based on kids being of ability, high character and high grades," Strom said, according to the Courier-Post.

"From day one, the administration told me they did not approve of the ratio of black to white students."

Strom confirmed to the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday that he had been fired from his position as the school’s golf and football coach and placed on administrative leave. He said he told officials that he wouldn’t resign and would remain as a coach until he was informed otherwise.

The former coach said that on several occasions the school asked whether his players were raised in single or double-parent families.

Camden school officials subsequently denied the former teacher’s allegations and that his firing was not based on the race of his former players.

"We are not that kind of environment and we take it very seriously when those accusations are made," Whipkey told the Courier-Post. "This is a special community here. We embrace our diversity here. Those accusations are not true."

The school also released a statement saying that Strom had "chosen to muddy the reasons for his dismissal with baseless accusations against the school and administration."

Strom told the paper he planned to file a complaint with the teacher’s union against the school regarding the nonrenewal of his contract.

After news of Strom’s firing had broke, about 22 students reportedly walked out of the school on Monday morning in protest of the decision. More than two dozen supporters, including parents of the football players, also gathered in the school’s parking lot.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: High School Football Coach Fired Because Officials 'Didn't Approve Of The Ratio Of Black To White Students'
High School Football Coach Fired Because Officials 'Didn't Approve Of The Ratio Of Black To White Students'
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