PERQUIMANS COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — The Perquimans County High School football coach has been suspended from coaching for the next two weeks.
James Bunch, assistant superintendent of Perquimans County Schools, said Coach Elvin James knew two of his football players had been arrested and charged with assault and battery back in April, but he did not suspend the players.
“He’s a good role model for our students,” said Bunch to WAVY News’ Liz Palka. “He believes that he was acting in the best interest of those two students involved and I respect him for that. However, as we discussed earlier, school procedure is school procedure.”
Bunch said James had been working with the two men to get them “on the right track.”
The school division’s policy bans any student charged or convicted of assault from participating in school sports.
The Hertford Police chief said the charges were brought against the two players after a fight within city limits.
A police report states the department received 911 calls about a fight at Perquimans County High School, around 11:45 p.m. on April 22. At the school, officers could not find the scene and then received reports the fight was actually taking place at 106 Edenton Rd.
A police investigator arrived at the scene and saw “several young males with their shirts off, as if they had just been in some form of altercation,” the police report states. Minutes later, a woman called police saying several boys had attacked her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend.
Bunch said the Perquimans County High School Principal, Chante Jordan, only heard of the charges Tuesday morning. The school division is not identifying the 18-year-old players.
“We wish we had found out about it sooner,” said Bunch.
James was suspended after a meeting Tuesday afternoon with school leaders and his football staff.
James, who is also a high school teacher, will be able to return to coaching after the two-week suspension. The students have been suspended from playing football indefinitely, according to Bunch.