After weeks of complaints by parents, the Santa Cruz School District will hire an independent investigator to look into the way the district's superintendent Gary Bloom fired a part time baseball coach.
It was the first significant step taken by the Board, which up to this point has ignored the parents pleas and failed to put them on three agendas since they were brought up publicly in August.
Coach George Arnott, who was so popular that more than 500 parents and students have signed a petition asking for him to be reinstated, was let go in August with no notice of wrongdoing and no warning.
At each meeting since, parents have alleged that Bloom fired the coach after one parent complained. They say that her son didn't get the amount of playing time she wanted. She was a principal in another district and friend of Bloom's.
Bloom has said he was just responding to a complaint as he would from any other parent. However, the other team parents complained that he never spoke to them or their sons on the team to get their opinions.
In a documented meeting with the coach, Bloom admitted that proper personnel practices weren't followed. Those would have included telling the coach there was something wrong and giving him a chance to correct it.
The parents who complained about the coach said he used swear words and wrote a letter to all the parents asking them not to take their negativity to the field. Santa Cruz's baseball team has been through four coaches in four years.
Attorney Ed Chun filed a written complaint with the Board representing his own son and 11 others on the team.
The Board has set a special meeting to hire the investigator on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. at Gault Elementary School.
The district's assistant director of human resources told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that the investigation would look into the process of how the coach was fired, but would not reinstate him regardless of the findings.
In more positive baseball coach news, Bill Dodge, who coached Santa Cruz High's team for 30 years will be honored Saturday in Santa Clara as he is inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame.
The induction will come in the middle of the second game of a North South All Star Game at Buck Shaw Field at Santa Clara Univerity.