Lumberton parents angered by coaches firing - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Lumberton parents angered by coaches firing

Parents and Lumberton citizens have placed signs throughout town showing their displeasure over assistant football and baseball coach Shane Brown's firing. Parents and Lumberton citizens have placed signs throughout town showing their displeasure over assistant football and baseball coach Shane Brown's firing.
Lumberton's five-year head boys basketball coach, and active military serviceman, Anthony Pittman was notified Tuesday morning his contract will not be renewed. Lumberton's five-year head boys basketball coach, and active military serviceman, Anthony Pittman was notified Tuesday morning his contract will not be renewed.
LUMBERTON, MS (WDAM) -

The Lumberton School District decided not to renew the contracts of two Lumberton High School coaches. First-year assistant football and baseball coach Shane Brown, also a Lumberton Elementary school physical education teacher, along with Head Boys Basketball Coach Anthony Pittman received notification today.

In response, a number of parents of Lumberton High School students placed signs around the town, and even on their cars, displaying messages as "We love Brown," "Keep Coach Brown," and "The Kids want Coach Brown." Parents say Brown is not only an exceptional baseball coach, but an exceptional person, and was let go unjustly.

"Getting rid of coach Brown, I think is a terrible mistake," said Shane Bounds, a parent of a Lumberton baseball player.

A number of parents feel the district chose to dismiss Brown in order to bring in another coach to assist the football team. "What's more important, and x's and O's guy? They're a dime-a-dozen," said Kenneth Lancaster, another parent of a Lumberton baseball player. "There's very few people with that kind of heart."

"What's more important, a guy who's good with young kids in elementary school and PE? He's got special needs kids coming out for PE. He's doing wonderful things around here, and he's also a big benefit to this baseball program."

The parents are also passing around a petition to try and have the district renew both Brown's and Pittman's contracts.

Lumberton Athletics Director Brian Ford and Lumberton School Superintendent Robert Walker declined to comment on the matter, but Walker pointed out a teacher and/or coach may be let go in his first year without any reason given, by the letter of the law. This applies to Brown, who's only been at Lumberton since the start of this school year, but Pittman has headed the boys basketball team for the last five years.

Walker commented via email stating, "This is a personnel matter. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

Both Brown and Pittman declined comment as well, but Pittman will go through due process and is appealing the decision. "(Brown's) been here six, seven months, and they're just getting rid of him," Bounds said, "Canned him, and that's just wrong."

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