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Atlanta-area coach under investigation for placing hands on student

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

An Atlanta-area football coach is under investigation for allegedly "putting his hands on a student" in an incident that occurred last Spring but has come to public attention just in time for the start of the football season, putting his future in jeopardy.

As first reported by Atlanta TV network WSB-TV, Jonesboro (Ga.) Mt. Zion High head football coach Ervin Starr is under investigation by school officials because of his role in an incident that was captured on grainy cell phone video last Spring. In recent days that video has been posted on the internet, with the coach depicted in a brief physical altercation with an unidentified student on school property.

Clayton County Superintendent Luvenia Jackson told WSB that her district has viewed the video in question and is now involved in a full investigation of Starr's role in a loud, foul-mouthed disagreement in school hallways where it appeared that Starr had been physically violent with a student.

Starr reportedly acknowledged his presence in the video, but to this point has yet to comment on whether there was any physical contact between himself and the student in the video.

For his part, Starr didn't completely duck questions about the incident, rather telling the network that his work is motivated by his love of teaching children while refusing comment about the specific incident citing privacy issues.

"I love kids, I love working with kids," Starr told WSB-TV. "That's my passion. Right now, there's an investigation going on and that's about all I can say about that, because of the investigation."

While the investigation is ongoing, Starr retains control of the Mt. Zion football program, with the full support of the Mt. Zion administration, until his involvement in the physical altercation is officially determined. His squad opens the season on Friday against crosstown rival Jonesboro (Ga.) High.

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