Dozens of community members spoke in support of a water polo coach and teacher, placed on paid administrative leave by the Coronado Unified School District after allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a middle school boy back in 2011.
Randy Burgess was accused of sexual molestation by a former student but denied the allegations. He has since filed a lawsuit against the school district because no charges were ever filed against him.
"Nothing happened in terms of this claim. None of it's true," Burgess told NBC 7.
Thursday, dozens showed up to speak on his behalf. One former student collected 1,200 petition signatures to have Burgess reinstated.
"The cloud of doubt will follow him for the rest of his life regardless if he did absolutely nothing wrong," said parent Buzz Fink.
"They left him in limbo and I believe that's where they made their mistake," said parent Nathan Smith.
Smith's sentiment was one heard often after the meeting let out Thursday night.
Many parents and former students said they were not frustrated by the allegations or the investigation, but rather the waiting game they say Burgess has been forced to play.
"Safety of children sounds great. That's a political thing to say. That's the correct thing to say. That appeals to all the parents in this small community," said former parent and attorney James Pokorny. "But when you balance that against due process and the fact that there's no further investigation to be done, that smacks of unfairness. He needs his job back."
One parent spoke out against Burgess, saying her daughter had a negative experience with him in the past. That claim has not been substantiated by police or the school district.
A judge is expected to rule on Burgess' lawsuit Friday.