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Volleyball Coach Apologizes After Practice On Hot Pavement Leads To Injuries, Firing

HESPERIA ( — An Oak Hills High School volleyball coach, whose outdoor practice on hot pavement led to severe burns for her players, is out of a job.

Parents were angry when students came home with large blisters on their hands after they were allegedly instructed to do exercises on the pavement by JV Volleyball coach Mercedes Winchester, 25.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, that is ridiculous'," parent Irene Castro Ortiz said. "There is no excuse for that."

The day after her daughter came home from the practice, Ortiz says there were second-degree burns on her hands, as well as those of her teammates.

"To inflict this type of injury defeats the purpose of fitness as a whole," Ortiz claimed.

Ortiz, after taking her daughter for medical attention, complained to the district, leading to Winchester's firing.

"If she doesn't have the common sense to stop what she's doing when she hurts somebody, then she doesn't need to be around children," Ortiz said.

Meanwhile, Winchester released a statement through the Daily Press, saying: "My goal wasn't to physically strengthen them, but mentally strengthen them. ... I'm sorry that anyone got hurt. ... It's protocol to go outside. It was not intentional or punishment. I didn't mean to hurt my girls at all. None of the girls said anything."

It does not appear Winchester will face criminal action.

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