Family wants changes on Atlanta high school football team after coach arrested

Family wants changes on Atlanta high school football team after coach arrested
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 9:50 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2023 at 11:47 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -An Atlanta family says they want to see changes on the Benjamin E. Mays High School football team after one of their coaches was arrested for physically assaulting a player.

Parthena Stokes’ son has been playing on the team for two years, but she said it hasn’t been the best experience.

“They work the kids to death, they practice them to death,” she said.

The mom of the 15-year-old claims the players face verbal and physical abuse and retaliation for speaking out.

“They make the boys bear crawl until they get blisters on their hands,” she said.

Stokes told Atlanta News First she’s voiced her concerns to school officials, with no results. But one day after a Mays High School coach was arrested for physically assaulting a player, she said she is hoping there are finally some changes.

RELATED: High school football coach in Atlanta strikes player on sideline during game | VIDEO

During a Saturday game, a lay coach for the team was seen punching one of the boys and yelling at him right before.

An Atlanta Public Schools spokesperson said the coach was charged with simple battery and will face administrative charges from the district.

“My mouth fell open and I said ‘did I see what I know I saw’,” she said.

Stokes said she was angry but not surprised and is demanding new leadership and practices.

“I want to make sure they have done background checks on all the coaches , they keep changing the roster so I want to make sure all of the coaches that are on the field are on the roster,” she said. “I also want to make sure that he is punished to the max.”

Atlanta News First reached out to Atlanta Public Schools about the claims around the football team and coaches and will update this story with a response.