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No repercussions against head Kingsville HS football coach after being accused of putting student in headlock

Grievance hearing yields no repercussions for head Kingsville HS football coach
Posted at 9:48 AM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 11:59:44-04

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The Kingsville ISD School Board took no action against head high-school football coach James Jefferson, who was the subject of a student's grievance during a meeting Tuesday.

Among the most serious accusations, the middle-school student claims Jefferson put him in a headlock, which resulted in the student needing a ride to an emergency room in an ambulance.

That student's parents hoped the alleged incident would cost Jefferson his job.

“I want him out, no questions asked,” father Andres de la Rosa said.

“Fired, terminated, out of here,” stepmother Tessa de la Rosa said.

After more than three hours of closed-door executive session deliberation, the school board voted on four proposed remedies that attorney Matt Manning included in the student's grievance.

All votes were unanimous — the first one declaring moot a request for all evidence connected to the alleged headlock with board members, saying that information had already been turned over to Manning before previous hearings on this matter.

The seven members all voted against Manning's requests that Jefferson be immediately fired, and that the school district reimburse the student's family for his medical costs from the alleged incident.

Finally, the board unanimously approved a allowing superintendent Cecilia "Cissy" Reynolds-Perez to report the alleged misconduct by Jefferson to the Texas Education Agency at her discretion.

That was a silver lining for Manning during an otherwise disappointing night.

“We’re hopeful that a subsequent TEA investigation will find that this is not an educator who should be employed,” he said.

Reynolds-Perez was quick to praise the school board's decision-making process.

“I really appreciate the way the board works as a team," she said. "And they always make sure they have informed decisions, and they consider all facts.”

Jefferson did not respond to our attempts to contact him to contribute to this story.

One community member did have words of support for him during the public comment section of Tuesday's special school board meeting.

“I’ve known that man since I was a child," Phil Esquivel said. "He’s honest. He’s straight up. He’s here for the kids."