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Parent Strikes Coach Over Away-Game Bus Policy

Paul Steinbach

Parent-on-coach attacks — verbal and physical — are all too common in high school and youth sports, but Thursday saw a rare if not unprecedented scenario unfold in Amory, Miss.

A boys' basketball game between Amory High School and visiting Hamilton was stopped and cancelled before the first quarter ended based not on what was transpiring on the court, but rather because Hamilton's girls' basketball coach was enforcing school policy. A Hamilton parent, upset that her desire to personally transport her son home from the game was being denied, struck Sue Verner, who had informed the parent school policy dictates that all team members ride the bus home from away games. Verner was reportedly "knocked out cold" and transported to a local hospital. The Amory gym was quickly cleared.

As a result of the altercation, Heather Thomspon, 36, is expected to be arraigned today on charges of simple assault on a school official — a felony — after she turned herself into police Thursday night. Verner was treated for a fracture under her left eye and a gash above the other, and released from Gilmore Regional Medical Center in Amory, according to CBS-TV affiliate WCBI.

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