A former high school basketball coach from South Carolina says he was fired for reporting serious infractions on his employer’s part.
Andre Weathers alleges in a lawsuit that Hemingway High School and the Williamsburg County School District removed him after he blew the whistle on the school’s practice of changing grades for students, covering up claims of sexual harassment and misusing government funds, among other charges.
Weathers worked for Hemingway less than a year but managed to lead the boy’s basketball team to the Class-A state championship game. He was fired in September 2016 after he blew the whistle on the school, reporting violations to the South Carolina Department of Education.
The school district says Weathers was terminated for seeking improper relationships with students over social media. Weathers claims the social media account used to solicit those relationships was created in his name by another school district employee.
Weathers’ teaching certificate was suspended after his firing but he was never charged with a crime and later regained his certificate in March 2017. He is now at Marion High School, where he guided the team to the Class AA state semifinals in his first season.
According to a report from snow.com, Weathers is seeking retribution for the time he lost after being fired at Hemingway.
“I had to go a whole year, and when you apply at places, they do background checks and all that kind of stuff,” Weathers said. “And with it being online, everybody — we’re in a technology age — Googles and sees things. And I had a lot of places that I interviewed . . . they said no because of what was out there.”
Weathers said he was vindicated after state agencies had to intervene at Hemingway. “Two years ago, I tried to tell everybody [what was happening at Hemingway],” Weathers said. “It took the state department to come in and say the exact things that I said was going on, for the state department to come in and take over.”