Parents, students come to defense of RHAM volleyball coach - CBS 5 - KPHO

Parents, students come to defense of RHAM volleyball coach

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Tim Guernsey Tim Guernsey

Some serious allegations of bullying are being made against a popular coach at RHAM High School.

The school board said it was investigating the claims, and at a public meeting Tuesday night, dozens spoke out in favor of Tim Guernsey.

The school board said it has received three anonymous letters claiming Guernsey uses derogatory language, and is mean, insulting and intimidating. One of the letters even claims he told his players to skip exams if they would make the players late for a game.

During the meeting Tuesday night, more than 50 people spoke out about the allegations, and not one person said anything negative about Guernsey.

"He's a good coach," one student said. "He pushes us. He's tough, not a bully."

"I have always loved the coach. Both of my boys had him. He was great," said Debbie Surdel. "Both my son and daughter have been coached by him and [had a] positive influence on them."

Superintendent Robert Siminski said in one of the letters, the parents of a player threatened to sue if they didn't do something about Guernsey, and the school board gave him permission to retain council to investigate the threat of a lawsuit.

Town manager Andrew J. Tierney confirmed that he knew about the letters, but said the school is handling the issue.

"We take bullying and anything very seriously, and any complaints will be investigated," Tierney said in a statement.

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