A passionate group of students and parents rallied outside Rancho Bernardo High School Thursday morning, all in support of a basketball coach facing serious accusations.
Last November, the local branch of the NAACP received an anonymous complaint against varsity basketball coach Jim Choe. The alleged offenses were only described as, “Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation.”
Although the complaint was filed four months ago, NAACP branch president Lei-Chala I. Wilson said they have continued to receive emails with similar complaints.
Supporters have jumped to Choe’s defense. They claim this is a smear campaign from the family of a disgruntled student.
“I don’t see bad language. I don’t hear anything like that. I think he’s firm, but I think he’s fair,” parent Beau Stewart said at Thursday’s rally.
“He’s never preferentially treated a player or discrimitorally [sic] treated a player. It’s always even no matter what age, what demographic, what color they are. He’s never exhibited any signs of racism,” said Scott Fuller, a former player and coach.
The Poway Unified School District confirmed that it investigated Choe last fall. The district received an anonymous letter detailing instances of alleged bullying, racism and rudeness.
The district told NBC 7 that they typically don’t launch an investigation without a formal complaint, but made an exception because of the bullying accusation. The district confirmed that the case was closed last fall and that Choe is still employed at the high school.
Wilson said the NAACP’s education committee is currently investigating the allegations.