Cascade High School coaches under investigation over painful punishment for track athletes

Parents: Students made to walk on hands, knees

CLAYTON, Ind. - Four coaches at Cascade High School have been told to resign after parents said several students were subjected to painful punishment for missing practice.

The incident happened Monday after several members of the boys' and girls' track teams missed Friday's practice on the day before prom, parents said.

When students returned to practice Monday, those who had missed on Friday were forced to walk on their hands and feet doing a so-called bear crawl around the asphalt running track for more than half a mile, parents said.

Several students suffered blisters and open sores on their hands, and one mother told RTV6 that a doctor said her daughter suffered second- and third-degree burns.

"Most of them got stopped after two laps, but some kids hands were really bad, and one kid went to the hospital," said a 14-year-old freshman girl, who missed practice because her mother had to work. "We asked if we could tape our hands up and they said, 'No, go back to practice.'"

In a statement, released Thursday, Mill Creek Assistant Superintendent Jill Jay said the district has contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services about the incident.

"We sincerely apologize to the parents and assure them we do not condone, nor will we tolerate, this type of behavior from our school employees," the statement read. "We have requested that all four coaches resign from their coaching positions, and they have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation."

All four coaches are also teachers at the school.

The mother of the 14-year-old girl said she believes the coaches should have to endure the same punishment her daughter did.

"I was just disgusted. I couldn't believe they made the kids do what they did," she said. "I mean, they could have disciplined them in a totally different way, added more laps to practice, whatever, but this was uncalled for."

Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.

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