PARKERSBURG - A group of parents and students wants Wood County Schools to reconsider a decision to remove Larry Kave as coach of the Parkersburg High School girls softball team.
Kave was told last month he would not be rehired for the position due to complaints against him by several students and parents. Details of the complaints were not made public, but the decision was made after a district investigation and after a group of students and parents spoke to the Wood County Board of Education in a closed-door session.
More than a dozen students and parents attended Tuesday evening's board meeting, asking for Kave to be put back into the coaching position.
Kassandra Thorn, a senior at Parkersburg High School and member of the PHS girls softball team, asks the Wood County Board of Education Tuesday evening to reconsider a decision to remove Larry Kave as the team’s coach. Kave was told he would not be rehired for the position following complaints from some parents and students. The details of those complaints have not been made public.
"This time last year we were well into the season," said Randy Marshall of Vienna. "This year, without a coach, there has been no fundraising, no training for the girls."
Kassandra Thorn, a senior at Parkersburg High School and member of the girls softball team, said the majority of the team still supports Kave and wants him back.
Last year "might not have been a great season, but it was an upgrade from what we saw the year before," she said. "I speak for most of the girls when I say, if you don't have him as our coach, most of us would leave. I think it would cost us the entire team.
"The decision should be reconsidered."
The two speakers also asked why the complaints were taken behind closed doors.
"I don't know what he is accused of," Thorn said. "If someone had a problem, maybe they should have talked to him first."
"I do not even know what was said, but I'd like to know why he (Kave) was not considered for the position," Marshall said.
Board President Rick Olcott said the decision to meet with parents and students behind closed doors was to both protect those speaking and Kave.
"We handle those things confidentially," Olcott said, "out of protection for those sharing the information and those in question."
Wood County Schools officials have said an investigation was held in early spring concerning "allegations and complaints" against Kave. Officials have declined to discuss the details of the investigation, saying the process was "ongoing."
Shortly after the Aug. 11 closed-door session, Kave was called to meet with Superintendent Bill Niday and PHS Athletic Director Richard Lance and told he would not be rehired for the position.
Niday said the softball coach position will be posted Friday.
"Can he (Kave) put his name back in?" Marshall said.
"It will be posted Friday. That's all I can say," Niday said.