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Softball coach on leave for inappropriate electronic communication with student
MONT BELVIEU, Texas - by Drew Karedes/KHOU 11 News and www.khou.com
A powerhouse softball team is facing playoffs without the head coach who guided them through another undefeated season.
Barbers Hill softball coach Perri Smith is on paid administrative leave for what the district calls "inappropriate electronic communication with a student".
Barbers Hill ISD would not explain what the accusations are and will only say that Smith "broke policy."
According to school officials, the violation warranted an immediate and ongoing investigation.
"There's been a lot of rumors," said student Nick Spell. "She goes to my church, and I wouldn't think she would do that."
Smith has been ordered to stay away from the Eagles softball team and her job as an English teacher at the high school in Mont Belvieu.
The varsity softball team opened their second-round playoff series Thursday night lead by their assistant coach and junior varsity coach.
"To lose a coach and to keep playing and hopefully win this game and not lose, that'd be big," said parent Bryan McCartney.
News crews were not allowed at the game, but spectators tell KHOU that the Eagles won.
KHOU attempted to get Smith's side of the story prior to the game. A family member said the district told Smith not to talk.
The athletic director for Barbers Hill would not speak candidly about the current situation. Ronnie Gage released the following written statement:
"Any goal worth achieving will always involve overcoming adversity, and I am confident our senior leadership and experience will help us to continue to move forward in our quest to win a championship."