Coach Fired Because of Racy Book Sues for $1 Million

Bryan Craig says district's action is a violation of his First Amendment rights

By BJ Lutz and Christian Farr
|  Monday, Sep 24, 2012  |  Updated 11:09 PM CDT
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Bryan Craig says his self-published book is a matter of free speech and says he shouldn't have lost his job over it. Christian Farr reports.

Bryan Craig says his self-published book is a matter of free speech and says he shouldn't have lost his job over it. Christian Farr reports.

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The former guidance counselor and girl's basketball coach fired for writing a racy relationship book is suing the school district for $1 million.

Bryan Craig said the action taken by the Rich Township High School District 227 was a violation of his First Amendment rights. He's asking a jury to award him money to "compensate him for the injuries he suffered."

"I've been wronged. I just expressed my opinion in a book and it had nothing to do with my position as a guidance counselor," Craig said Monday evening.

Craig was fired last Tuesday, a couple of weeks after stepping down as coach, while officials reviewed the impact his self-published book, It's Her Fault, would have on students.

He billed the book as a relationship manual, but school officials said passages were crude and inappropriate.

"Even though I feel I’m beyond the highest caliber of men, I still have a weakness for cleavage," he wrote in one passage.

The district, in its Charges of Misconduct, said the publication was a "contravention of expected behavior for a high school guidance counselor:"

"Craig's purported "advice" utilizes obscene phraseology in describing his own sexual experiences and his sex-related suggestions for others to explore, condones immoral practices such as cheating and lying for purposes of achieving sexual gratification, demonstrates unprofessional attitudes towards women."

The suit claims Craig suffered humiliation, mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of the actions of the school district. It names District 227, Leak, Owens and the Board of Education, and seeks $1 million in damages, court costs and attorney fees. 

School Board President Betty Owens said the district intends to "vigorously" defend itself in the case, believing Craig's claims have "no merit."

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