Amador High football team suspended after chat thread surfaces

The Amador County Office of Education is investigating a “chat thread” involving the varsity football team

SUTTER CREEK, Calif. — The Amador High School varsity football team remains off the field indefinitely following word that the school district is investigating a “chat thread.”

“It’s concerning. That’s a huge step for a supervisor or superintendent to take,” said Sutter Creek resident Dennis Daniels.

In an email to parents, in part, it reads, “The District is aware of the chat thread associated with the Amador Varsity Football Team. At this time, the team is suspended until further notice and three staff members are on administrative leave pending investigation .”

The email was sent by Amador County Office of Education and Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Torie Gibson.

When ABC10 asked the superintendent to elaborate as to why the team is suspended, she wouldn’t provide any details saying it was due to the incident being under investigation.

ABC10 also asked in an email for the names and positions of the three staff members, but our email was not answered. However, Amador High parent Vanessa Catagna says one of her kids saw screen shots connected to the chat thread.

“If this is a racially motivated incident, then it would be appropriate to look into this a bit more as far as the entire team instead of individuals who contributed to this. It’s definitely a challenging issue,” Catagna said.

Other parents ABC10 approached would not comment. However, one parent, who would not give her name, said the chat thread was simply “a joke” and a “misunderstanding.”

Still some students said whatever the outcome of the investigation, the appropriate action should be taken.

“If they all did something wrong then I would say yeah, sure, get them suspended. But, if it was just someone in the entire team, it’s not really cool to that person cause the entire team is like, ‘Hey, why did you do that? Now, we’re all suspended,'” said student Rian Dunn.

“I definitely think if there is obvious racism or anything in general that could be deemed a threat to other people. I think the team should be suspended for that, but if it’s like my friend said, just one person or just a few people or something then maybe just those people should be suspended,” said student Otto Shatz.

For now, the 30 members of the varsity football team have “discontinued practice and games for the time being,” but “the students are currently allowed at school,” according to Gibson.

The Amador High School varsity football team was set to play Rosemont High School Friday night in Sutter Creek. ABC10 reached out to the Rosemont HS athletic director and varsity football coach for comment today, but did not hear back.

ABC10 also reached out to the California Interscholastic Federation Sac Joaquin Section, but haven’t received comment at this time.

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