Winter Weather ADVISORY in effect for:
New Rochelle students stage walkout over reassignment of football coachPosted: Updated:
New Rochelle students stage walkout over reassignment of football coach
Dozens of New Rochelle High School students staged a walkout Friday in protest to the reassignment of football coach Louis DiRienzo.
"Coach D is a really, really beloved person in this community and we really think that there is no reason for all this to be happening. We just want to know what's happening because we feel like everything's very hidden from us, so we just want to know what's happening." one New Rochelle High School senior told News 12.
New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijoo reassigned DiRienzo from both his coaching and teaching duties. Feijoo says under confidentiality rights, she cannot give a reason for the decision, but reassignment happens if someone violates school policy.
School officials won't say which policy the coach violated, but according to a tweet from the high school's Football Parent Association, DiRienzo helped a student in distress leave school with her parent.
The New Rochelle Football Parent Association released a statement Thursday night detailing what's correct and incorrect about the situation.
"There is no element of the foregoing facts that would justify the suspension of a dedicated mentor who has served this community to the utmost, much less justify the public slap in the face and irreparable damage to Coach DiRienzo's reputation caused by this incident," the statement said.
The Huguenots are undefeated this season and have a state playoff game Saturday. Feijoo released a statement today confirming that DiRienzo will not coach the playoff game due to the ongoing investigation.
"Given that we are against what most would consider a hard deadline, the game on Saturday, I feel it is my responsibility to set expectations," the statement said. "I regret to inform you after much deliberation with both central and building level administration, that this investigation will not be concluded by game day."
The statement went on to say they the school is committed to a fair and thorough investigation in a timely manner.
Parents also gathered outside the school Friday, claiming that the new superintendent is "trying to pull the community apart." They say they will continue challenging her until she reinstates their coach and apologizes for tarnishing DiRienzo's reputation.
A final decision on DiRienzo's reinstatement will be made after an investigation is conducted. He will continue to be paid but isn't allowed on school grounds.