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HS Football Coach Resigns After Player Assault Cancels Season

Paul Steinbach

A high school football coach in northern Minnesota has resigned, claiming he's been targeted following an alleged locker room assault by players against a teammate.

As reported by CBS affiliate WCCO in Minneapolis, Proctor Public Schools Superintendent John Engelking says the school board accepted the resignation of Proctor High School football coach Derek Parendo Monday night. He is also stepping down from his teaching duties, and will be on paid personal leave for the rest of the school year.

Several Proctor students told WCCO last week that two players held down another teammate, while a third used an item to sodomize him. Photos and videos of the assault were spread via Snapchat. Students say all players involved have not been in class since the incident came to the attention of school leaders. The season has been canceled.

“I felt I’ve always been singled out. I’ve been targeted," Parendo said. "This is just the straw that broke the camel’s back."

Parendo believes members of the school board and administration treat him differently because of his Native American heritage. The school district had no comment on that.

Parendo says he was not at the school when the alleged attack happened, but he says people are threatening his family.

“When the principal told me he didn’t know if I was going to be safe in school, that was it," he said. "The environment that I have lived in for the last 13 years has been horrible, and I’ve tried to move past it and around it, and I’ve seen very little movement in the change in environments.”

Police expect their investigation of the assault to conclude this week.

While Proctor students consider the video evidence "bad" and "gross," many were looking forward to a normal football season amid the COVID pandemic.

“I don’t think they should have taken away everyone’s football season," senior Phoenix Koski told WCCO in early October, after the video first surfaced. "They weren’t a part of it."


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