Supporters of a former football coach at a suburban high school are expected to voice their displeasure with the way the school handled his departure after he broke up a fight between two students.
Chong “John” Woo resigned rather than face termination after the incident at Huntley High School, which occurred in late February. Now Woo, who was a football coach and a security guard at the school, is no longer at the school, but supporters want him to get his job back.
Supporters of Woo have created petitions online calling for his return to his job, with more than 8,000 people having signed the petitions.
School officials have declined to release details of the incident, but say it was witnessed by multiple administrators and a law enforcement officer.
“The district is aware of petitions and other efforts in support of the continued employment of Mr. Woo, who voluntarily resigned his positions as security aide and assistant football and track coach at Huntley High School,” the district said in a statement. “We regret that the circumstances regarding Mr. Woo’s decision to resign have become a matter of public speculation and discord.”
Some have said Woo’s actions were unnecessarily rough, and that his handling of the incident may have violated the district’s “hands-off” policy.
Woo is facing battery charges in the case, but according to the Chicago Tribune, the parent who originally sought the charges has decided they no longer want to pursue legal action.
Now, the teacher’s union and other supporters are hoping to help Woo get his job back.
“I’m just hoping the board of education will look at this objectively,” Tammy Fabis, President of the Huntley Education Support Professional Association, said. “I know there’s been a lot of outside noise going on regarding this whole situation, but I really think if they stood back and reviewed the evidence and the situation, they can make a judgment objectively in Mr. Woo’s situation.”
Parents and supporters are expected to address the board of education at a meeting Thursday night. The teacher’s union is seeking clarity, hoping to make sure the district and its employees are all on the same page when it comes to interacting with students in situations that could potentially end up requiring a “hands-on” approach to address.