Mathews High coach won’t be fired, school board decides

MATHEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Mathews County School Board said a coach who was suspended after one of his students was seriously injured during class will go back to work.

School officials say Coach Tony Forrest was placed on leave after two students began horsing around in his weightlifting class. One boy was badly hurt. The superintendent said Forrest had a history of not properly supervising students.

Thursday, the community packed the old Mathews County Courthouse for Forrest’s hearing in front of the school board.

Gallery: Community rallies behind coach

Colleagues, representatives from the sheriff’s office and students stood up in support during the coach’s hearing.

“Our school is not the same without him,” said Mathews junior Andie Schlosshan. “As far as things go, I don’t believe Coach Forrest deserves to lose his job over this.”

Forrest has been at Mathews for 11 years. He coaches football, basketball and track.

“I just miss the kids,” Forrest said. “I miss working with them. This is what I do. This is my life.”

After an hours-long hearing and 30 minutes behind closed doors, the school board decided not to terminate the coach. However, Forrest says he hasn’t heard when he can return to work.