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Copyright 2017 Sun Journal Oct 19, 2017

Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)

 

The varsity football coach at Gray-New Gloucester High has been dismissed for allegedly instructing his players to taunt a Yarmouth player about having two mothers as parents.

The parents, Lynn and Stephanie Eckersley-Ray, say Gray-New Gloucester coach Duane Greaton told his players to taunt their son every time he was tackled during a game last Friday by saying, "Who's your daddy?"

The couple sent a letter to the superintendent of SAD 15 asking for a meeting to discuss the incident.

The superintendent, Craig King, told WMTW that Greaton no longer works for the district. He told the TV station that "MSAD 15 takes concerns about the safety and security of students very seriously and does not tolerate threatening or discriminating behavior."

Lynn Eckersley-Ray said Thursday that she and her wife were told by Gray-New Gloucester parents of the taunting order just before the teams played. Greaton coached his team during the game.

"We found out because some Gray parents and players stepped forward and we are extremely thankful to them," she said. "They did what they could about it and we are appreciative and thankful for that."

In their letter to the superintendent, Lynn and Stephanie Eckersley-Ray said Greaton's actions were discriminatory: "We are appalled by your coach's behavior as it is not only the explicit targeting of a player, but it is also incredibly discriminatory and hate-laden in nature. It is our understanding that targeting is not acceptable per (Maine Principals' Association) ... rules and we certainly know that anti-discrimination, anti-bias, and hate-crime laws protect individuals in Maine."

On Thursday Lynn Eckersley-Ray said the incident has been "extremely difficult for our family ... It has been a little overwhelming."

Lynn Eckersley-Ray said her family has been appreciative of the support they have received from the Yarmouth administration and coaching staff.

She wants to meet with the Gray-New Gloucester administration to "have a conversation so this can be amicably resolved in a supportive and positive educational way."

Scott Walker, the athletic director at Gray-New Gloucester, said he could not comment on Greaton's status, citing it as a personnel matter. "Our remaining staff will be in place on the sidelines Saturday," Walker said.

The Gray-New Gloucester football team is winless entering its final game of the season at Fryeburg Academy on Saturday afternoon.

Greaton did not return a phone call seeking comment.

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