PORT HURON, Mich. – The athletic director at Port Huron High School has been fired after he allegedly made comments about slavery while speaking to football players.
Greg Wagner was lecturing 65 boys after members of the football team scuffed up the midfield logo at Marysville High School, district officials said.
Students allege Wagner said something like, "If you want a good slave master, you have to be good slaves."
"I was mad, but I knew if I said something, it would just lead to more trouble," student Deovion Price said.
Port Huron Schools Superintendent Jamie Cain announced Tuesday that the district will part ways with Wagner, who also served as assistant principal at Port Huron High.
"Regardless of what the intent was, this word (slaves) is never allowed in the context of this type of a class or group," Cain said in the statement.
Cain said the district is beginning the process of discharging Wagner, which involves contractual obligations and due process.
Here is the full statement:
"Administration at Port Huron Schools has completed a full investigation into the statements made to a class at Port Huron High School by the Athletic Director.
"As has been reported in the media and in other sources, there were references to slaves. Regardless of what the intent was, this word is never allowed in the context of this type of a class or group. It would only be used in a history class where slavery was being studied, which was not the case in this situation.
"The Port Huron Area School District has no tolerance for use of racially offensive terms and, as a result, the district will be commencing the process to discharge the individual involved. The process involves contractual obligations and due process, which the district will follow.
"As superintendent, I personally and on behalf of the district, apologize to the students, their families and the community as a whole. The Port Huron Area School District holds all of its staff to high professional standards and will continue to do so."
Local 4 reached out to Wagner for comment, but he declined the interview.