Atlanta Public Schools launches investigation into conduct of Mays H.S. football coaches

A Benjamin E. Mays High School football coach was arrested after allegedly punching a player.
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 5:29 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2023 at 7:22 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Dr. Danielle Battle was sworn in as the new interim superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools on Monday, days after a high school football coach was arrested for physically assaulting a player during a game.

Video shows a Benjamin E. Mays High School football coach punching a player and yelling at him during a game, causing safety concerns for parents. The incident was caught on camera during the PeachtreeTV broadcast of the Great Atlanta Bash at Eddie. S Henderson Stadium at Midtown High School in Atlanta.

Mays High coach Carl Sledge was arrested in connection with the incident.

Atlanta Public Schools is also looking into another incident that shows inappropriate conduct by a different coach. Officials say they’re looking into a photo showing a Mays High football coach standing on players’ knees as they perform wall sits. They say the photo was apparently taken during summer conditioning.

Parthena Stokes’ son plays on the team. She claims there is a pattern of verbal and physical abuse from the coaches and retaliation for speaking out.

“They work the kids to death, they practice them to death,” Stokes said, adding that she wants to see more changes in leadership and practices on the team.

“I want to make sure they have done background checks on all the coaches,” she said.

Atlanta News First asked APS Board Chair Eshe’ Collins about the incident.

Collins said she had no comments regarding the specific incident, but said safety remains a priority for students.

“I just want parents to be assured we’re taking every step and every precaution to make sure our students and they themselves are safe,” she said.

Atlanta Public Schools released the following statement:

Atlanta Public Schools’ Office of Employee Relations and Atlanta Public Schools police are investigating.


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