Attorney Ed Chun, whose son plays on the team, said he has been overwhelmed with emails of support for Arnott, a former minor leaguer who was a baseball star at Santa Cruz High and Cabrillo College.
"I thought this stuff only happened in Texas," said Chun, who said Arnott was never given a reason for being let go. Chun says he suspects it was based on pressure from powerful parents whose kids were on the team but didn't get enough playing time.
The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 21 at 405 Old San Jose Rd.
Chun said Arnott not only helped rebuild a struggling team, but worked before the season to improve a baseball field that was in critical disrepair.
"He put in his own money to fix up the field," said Chun.
Chun said he heard complaints from some parents that Arnott was abrasive. One woman came to the lawyer's office and complained that the coach was "too mean to the kids, swore at the kids and broke a bat over his knee." Chun and others said they found Arnott to be inspiring and pushing the kids toward winning.
"If the complaints are legit, what's the problem with doing an independent investigation and listening to all sides of the story?" said Chun, who was speaking for a number of parents.
The complaint isn't on the district's agenda, so parents will talk during the public comments section and are limited to three minutes each, unless the chair decides otherwise. No decision could be made without it being on the agenda.
SCHS Principal Karen Edmunds sent an email to parents saying that the decision was made and would stand, despite what they said at the school board meeting. She said she has heard support for both sides of the issue and expects parents from both sides to appear at the meeting.
Dear SCHS baseball team parents and interested parties:
I wish to acknowledge the concern many of you have expressed regarding a change in the head coaching position for the 2014 SCHS baseball season. Through your emails and letters over the recent weeks, I have learned of your support both for and against the decision not to retain Coach George Arnott for the 2014 season. I fully understand how this decision might affect you and your children. However, the decision to move in a different direction with the coach was made by me along with others, and with the interest of our student-athletes.
I am aware that some of you plan to attend the Santa Cruz City Schools Board of Trustees meeting to speak on behalf of or against Mr. Arnott’s reinstatement as the SCHS baseball coach. However, the decision to make this coaching change for next season will not be subject to review by the trustees, and there will not be a vote to reinstate him.
As a team, you are to be commended for the care and dedication you’ve given to the SCHS baseball program. As parents and players you have been a source of tremendous support of our athletics department. I appreciate all that you’ve done fundraising, maintaining the field, and supporting the players. I am concerned, however, about the resulting division among the entire SCHS baseball community. Hopefully, we are all able to move forward and begin to work to make the 2014 season a positive one for the team.