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Pine-Richland School Board Member Resigns; Parents And Students Voice Support For Eric Kasperowicz

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A Pine-Richland School District Board member has resigned as of Friday.

At a special meeting held on Friday, the Board voted to accept the resignation of a Board member. At this time, the identity of the Board member is not known. The Board did not specify a reason for the member's resignation.

Heated comments and fiery words came from parents and former players of the Pine-Richland High School football team, at Friday's school board meeting held just two days after the district cleaned house of the entire coaching staff over allegations of hazing.

"This feels like a culmination of a slap in the face," said parent Rebecca James.

"They don't want to give out personal information, they're not saying anything, they're just calling it harassment and they took our coach out so I how the whole thing was handled I question it," said Charlie Mill, a senior wide receiver and cornerback.

"It is the district's well-rounded practice to refrain from comment on personnel matters in public. It is simply not appropriate for us to respond," said Peter Lyons, the Pine-Richland School Board President. "As such, we'll also be refraining from correcting false statements and allegations being circulated. It is understood that this is frustrating to ourselves as well as to the community and confusing to others, but it is grounded in best practices and our legal obligations."

In the special meeting, several parents pointed to a petition that has gained over 5,000 signatures. The petition was started a day ago.

Now, another coach is speaking out.

"Something that's been going on for more than just now we've been working for the last few years kind of under the microscope off the board and under the microscope of the administration… It just seems like there's a lot of overshadowing of the jobs and not allowing people to do what they're asked to do," said linebackers coach Jack Neff.

Meanwhile, parents say that they are skeptical as to what else could be happening behind closed doors.

"If this can happen to such a beloved winning coach in the school district. What else is the school board doing?" Rebecca James asked.

"For some type of action like this, it's shed such a light on the entire program, and, more importantly, the children because they are part of the program," said parent Melissa King. "And you're insinuating that they were taking this type of activity and that they were a part of it and that they condoned it and that is so far from the truth."

This morning, the decision by the Pine-Richland School District to not renew the contracts of the Pine-Richland High School football coaching staff keeps gaining attraction.

Watch Bryant Reed's Noon Report

Students of the school rallied before the opening bell in support of coach Eric Kasperowicz and his entire coaching staff.

Dozens of students stood outside of the school as early as 7:30 this morning… some of them sticking around after the start of school, holding up signs and saying "Free Coach K."

It's been two days now since the Pine-Richland School District said they will not be renewing the contracts of championship-winning coach Eric Kasperowicz along with his entire coaching staff - which is over a dozen people.

The district had been investigating a hazing incident from years back — which Kasperowicz and his staff have denied.

The students this morning though have been very vocal about how they feel. They believe the district hasn't been forthcoming with the details involving the investigation and where these allegations are coming from.

They say they're disappointed in the district's decision.

They believe their football program will no longer be the powerhouse it was only a year ago, and this move affects them as much as anybody else.

"He's won 4 WPIAL championships and he's won two state championships and to just send him an email and say 'hey, you're done, we're going to terminate your contract' the very least he deserves some sort of face-to-face conversation," Mill said.

Stay with KDKA as we follow this developing story.

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