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Residents slam Dover board over coach suspension, some allege racism
Residents and non-residents criticize the Dover Area School Board for their suspension of girls' basketball head coach Kevin Glover. Wochit
Supporters of a sidelined Dover Area High School coach attended a school board meeting Thursday night, with some suggesting racism was to blame for his suspension.
The board approved a new acting head coach for the girls' basketball team to fill in for Kevin Glover, who remains suspended while the district conducts an investigation.
The move came a week after Aignee Nicole Freeland, an assistant girls' basketball coach, was charged with sexually assaulting an underage player.
Former volunteer coach Tyler Smith is now acting head coach, and Christopher Day will be his assistant coach. The school board approved the changes unanimously at the Thursday, Jan. 18, meeting.
Smith "has graciously agreed to serve in this capacity in the best interest of the students," board President Nathan Eifert said during public comment.
"Regarding Coach Glover, he is still an active employee of the school district and is on a leave of absence at this time," Eifert said. "Beyond that, the board cannot comment on anything that is related to a personnel matter."
Supporters: At least six people spoke before the board in defense of Glover, with some saying his suspension was racially motivated.
Raymond Fink, a Dover resident and parent of Dover girls’ basketball player Rajah Fink, said he was "disgusted" with the school board and that it is a "travesty what's going on" with the district's handling of Glover.
“You people make me sick,” he said.
Rajah Fink also addressed the board, saying she hopes it “comes to the right decision” regarding Glover.
“He’s helped me get a scholarship for my future to better myself,” she said, before bursting into tears on her father’s shoulder.
“This is what you guys are doing to the kids,” Raymond Fink said to the board. “I think you should all get fired for this.”
Glover was suspended Dec. 21, according to the district. Dennis Kloster, a former volunteer assistant girls' basketball coach, resigned in protest of the suspension.
Freeland was suspended by the district a day earlier.
'Racial discrimination': Rajah’s mother, Lisa Fink, was blunt when she addressed the board:
"I personally think (it's) racial discrimination, that’s how I feel,” she said. “That man was fired because he was black.” Lisa Fink added the board would “never fire” the coach if he were white.
Glover was not fired and remains on suspension.
Lisa Fink repeatedly pointed and looked over at Glover's family members, who were seated in the audience.
“Look at his family,” Lisa Fink said. “He has children. He has a mother, a father. Come on,” she yelled at board members.
Lisa Fink also mentioned some of the allegations against Freeland, specifically the reported video calls made between Freeland and a 16-year-old girl who plays, or played, on the girls' basketball team.
“How the hell would he know what’s going on with people talking on the phone?” she said. “He comes to teach them basketball, and that’s all he does.”
Constraints: Some residents argued with board solicitor Benjamin Pratt for trying to limit each public comment to three minutes.
At the beginning of the public comment period, Eifert stated only district residents 18 years of age or older could speak before the board. Residents younger than 18 could speak with an adjoining parent or guardian.
“It’s very convenient, because you know we’re all here for the one reason ... to support Kevin,” Aurelia Coley said.
Still, Glover’s mother, Cynthia Glover, who doesn't live in the district, spoke up on her way out of the board room, saying she has had a lot of “sleepless nights” because of the ordeal, adding that the board was “dead wrong” for suspending her son.
“Y’all suck,” she added as she stormed out.
After public comments, the board went into executive session mid-meeting for about 20 minutes.
By the time the regular board meeting reconvened, most of the audience had departed the board room.
Freeland: Freeland was barely mentioned at the meeting, though the ensuing investigation appears to stem from what Northern York County Regional Police say was a sexual relationship between her and a 16-year-old player.
The 23-year-old York City resident was arrested Jan. 10 and charged with third-degree felonies of institutional sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor.
Northern Regional Police were alerted to the allegations Dec. 20, the same day she was suspended by the Dover Area School District.
After the meeting, board members and district Superintendent Tracy Krum could not be reached for comment.