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KETK LIVE: Follow KETK for live updates from PTISD Board Meeting concerning fate of AD/Head football coach

KETK LIVE: Follow KETK for live updates from PTISD Board Meeting concerning fate of AD/Head football coach
The School Yard

POSTED: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 2:55pm

UPDATED: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 4:33pm

KETK will have a crew updating live via multiple social media portals Friday afternoon from the Pine Tree Independent School District School Board Meeting.

The meeting, set to begin at 3:00 p.m., will decide the fate of Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Derek Fitzhenry.

After taking no action at Monday night's regularly scheduled school board meeting, the district announced, Tuesday, a "special meeting" of the Board of Trustees at Pine Tree Independent School District will be held Friday, in the PTISD Central Office Boardroom, where Fitzhenry, is expected to resign.

Board members and Superintendent Dr. T.J. Farler are expected to discuss, with Fitzhenry, what exact formal action will be taken.

According to the board agenda, the board will retreat into a closed session for consultation with an attorney regarding a settlement agreement and the resignation of the Athletic Director and head football coach.

An open session will begin immediately after the closed session ends where there will be a discussion and possible action on the resignation and settlement agreement of Fitzhenry.

After nearly six hours Monday night, the Pine Tree ISD Board of Trustees decided to take no action concerning recent controversy surrounding Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Derek Fitzhenry.

Around 10:40 p.m., PTISD Board President Charley Peck announced to a crowded room they will meet again in one week, October 21, at 500 p.m., to discuss personnel matters. The decision was made after a two-hour executive session meeting behind closed doors.

During the open session, board members listened to public comments from the community, but did not take any questions from concerned citizens. At one point, a taxpayer spoke out against Fitzhenry calling recent events a 'mockery' of Pine Tree High School athletics.

Comments were met with a loud applause from the audience.

Neither Fitzhenry nor PTISD athletes were in attendance at the meeting.

So far this season, the coach has been accused of pushing a student at a game, for which Fitzhenry was put on administrative leave shortly before being reinstated. Three football players, were also arrested in September after school officials caught them with marijuana on school grounds back in June. The three athletes had played in every Pirate football game up until that point. Fitzhenry also admitted to altering the online version of the Pine Tree Athletic Department's handbook which allowed a player charged with sexually assaulting a minor to play in the Pirates' game against Nacogdoches. It was later learned that Superintendent T.J. Farler was unaware of the changes.

Following the publication of the accusation, the athletic director denied wrongdoing and blamed the changes on a "clerical error," which KETK quickly disproved.

The school handbook has since reverted back to its original form.

KETK will be on scene at the meeting Friday and will be updating via Twitter and Facebook on all of the developments.

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