A New Mexico high school football coach charged with battery of a female student is now being sued by her parents, who also blame the district for hiring and retaining him.
Court documents allege Aztec High School head football coach Hank Strauss confronted a female student during school Sept. 2 and told her to stop taking a football player off campus for lunch. The student, who was holding her lanyard with her keys, says the coach “grabbed the keys and ripped them out of her hands and threw them.”
The suit cites a second confrontation in which Strauss allegedly told the student she was “privileged” and “you think I am scary now; you have not seen anything.”
Strauss, who allegedly apologized to the student Sept. 6, was charged with misdemeanor battery.
Now the student’s parents have filed a lawsuit against the Aztec School District and Strauss. claiming the district’s behavior contributed to the student’s emotional distress and anxiety, according to the Farmington Daily Times.
The suit also claims Aztec High Principal Charda Sanders, in addition to Strauss, engaged in “extreme and outrageous conduct,” and alleges negligence in the hiring of Strauss, as well as for continuing his employment at Aztec High. The suit alleges that a failure to provide a safe environment at the school constitutes breach of contract.
This is allegedly not the first altercation Strauss has had with students.
“Just last year, he verbally assaulted, with a profanity-laced tirade, on up to 10 students at the school. He then threatened to meet them off campus,” the family’s lawyer Mitch Burns said in an interview.
Strauss’s criminal proceedings are set to proceed next month. Meanwhile, Strauss has continued in his position as head coach for the Aztec High School football team.