ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. (WREG) — An Arkansas School District Athletic Director and head football coach is facing charges after a student reported the coach in Palestine-Wheatley grabbed and pushed him.
Terry Farmer is charged with third-degree battery and endangering the welfare of a minor following a reported incident with a football player.
In the town of Palestine, Arkansas with a population of fewer than 700 parents told us they’ve had questions.
One parent, who for privacy concerns asked us to not identify her and change her voice, said her frustration has centered around Palestine-Wheatley High School District’s Athletic Director and head football coach, Terry Farmer.
“Very frustrating, very aggravating, even tried to meet with him and couldn’t get answers,” she said.
Farmer is accused of grabbing one of his football players from behind and pulling on him…as well as pushing him, causing him to almost fall.
The student reported he suffered from bruising after in incident, was afraid of the coach, and didn’t want to be present around him without another adult around.
He also said he didn’t want to return to school and when he attended classes he was nervous, experiencing headaches and stomachaches.
The incident happened in September, but a complaint wasn’t filed with the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department until February after the sheriff’s office said the school refused to address the issue, leaving the family to seek legal action.
Farmer was arrested Monday.
Another parent said her child has never had any physical problems with the coach but has dealt with what she calls “bullying” by him.
“I was excited that something was finally happening. Because there’s been so many complaints and nothing has been done,” she said. “I’ve had since his arrest several phone calls from other parents saying, ‘it looks like something will have to be done now.'”
She hopes Farmer is held accountable and will no longer work for the district.
“It’s very frustrating since it all almost started from day one that they hired him. We’ve been with the school for several years now and there’s never been any kind of drama, it’s been a wonderful, great school,” she said.
Records show Farmer has bonded out of jail and he is scheduled to appear in court on April 6.
We did speak to Farmer on the phone. He told us he could not comment on the issue but says when he can, he will.
We also reached out to the Palestine-Wheatley School District for comment and to learn more about Farmer’s status. So far, we have not heard back.