November 11, 2010
Wednesday RivalsHigh and other sources reported on a disturbing story out of Jackson, Miss., where three high school basketball players filed a lawsuit against their basketball coach and the school district alleging they were whipped in practices.
Now disturbing video proof of the whippings has emeged, as you can see below.
As reported in the Clarion-Ledger, Murrah (Miss.) High boys basketball coach Marion Dorsey previously admitted to whipping his players with a weightlifting belt, citing a desire to improve their attitude as the primary motivation behind his corporal punishment.
"I took it upon myself to save these young men from the destruction of self and what society has accepted and become silent to the issues our students are facing on a daily basis," Dorsey said in a statement to the Clarion-Ledger. "I am deeply remorseful of my actions to help our students."
Dorsey, who is in his first year leading the Murrah program, has reportedly been suspended without pay. The whippings were allegedly a response to a variety of different indiscretions by the Murrah players, including theft, disrespecting teachers, truancy and violating the school's dress code.
Still, the punishment the students received went far beyond anything legal in American school systems.
"It's not about money, it's about justice," Lisa Ross, the attorney for the three students told ABC News.
Ross and her three clients are seeking discipline against the coach and compensatory damages. Though the beatings allegedly began during summer practices, players were scared to report them for fear of losing playing time. The physical punishment only later came to light when parents of the players attended practices and witnessed the whippings themselves.
The father of one of the players who was whipped detailed the strife the players suffered in an interview with CNN.
"I know they felt bad," Jason Hubbard Sr. said. "I could see the content of their face, and it was very, very disturbing to me to watch them be humiliated like that."
"We believe it was illegal and it was unlawful for the coach to hit these students," Ross told CNN. "In this particular case the students had engaged in no misconduct. They had done absolutely nothing wrong, except run a basketball play incorrectly. And we believe it's unlawful for any teacher to hit a student merely because the student ran a play wrong. ...
"We believe a majority of the players on the team were hit. One of my clients was hit almost daily, and sometimes he had the punishment administered to him more than once during the practices. ... We do not want students beat just to participate in a sporting activity."