A high school coach lost her job after allegedly tripping a cheerleader from a rival team during a basketball game. Two gym surveillance videos that were taken during the game show the cheerleader doing backflips across the court, and then coach Teresa Fann approaching the teen and sticking her leg out to stop her.
But after viewing the videos (obtained Wednesday by WRCBtv) from a different angle, some of the cheerleaders and parents say that Fann, a basketball coach at Grundy County High School in Chattanooga, Tenn., wasn’t trying to trip the teen cheerleader from Sequatchie County High School. Instead, they allege that Fann was alerting the teen that she was on the wrong side of the court and needed to get back to the opposing team’s side. “The first video that came out I think most would agree it painted Ms. Teresa in a bad picture,” Talena Green, a cheerleader’s parent, told WRCBtv. “In this new video it shows the girl tumbling across the floor and her crowd is yelling to get back over. That is what Ms. Teresa was telling her to do. Stay on her side.”
Added Green: “Ms. Teresa did not go out there to trip her. She is a professional adult, a sane adult. She would not have gone in front of a crowd of people and purposely trip this girl and injure her.”
Video still of high school coach Teresa Fann allegedly tripping a cheerleader.
After the incident, which took place on Jan. 15, the high school superintendent Jessie Kinsey suspended Fann from teaching for three days without pay and then fired her as cheer coach. This is despite the fact that the cheerleader Fann is accused of tripping says she wasn’t harmed and isn’t holding a grudge.
Even the teen’s father isn’t faulting Fann for anything. “I don’t think she did anything wrong, and I was there,” the cheerleader’s father, Tim Dean, told WRCBtv. “If I thought my daughter was being mistreated, I’d have been out there in a heartbeat. My daughter was not hurt in any way, and she has no hard feelings against Teresa.”
In protest of Fann’s firing, several cheerleaders at Grundy County High School quit the squad. Kinsey responded by issuing a letter to the students, saying that if they aren’t on the squad, they will not earn the PE credit they need to graduate. Kinsey confirmed to WRCBtv that Fann will no longer coach the cheerleaders at the school.
(Photos: WRCBtv; top photo: Getty Images)