Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Protest went well

I have finished my protest for today of the continued employment of child abuser Coach Andy Keith at Horseshoe Bend School. I arrived and dropped my kids off around 6:45. The principal and a sheriff's deputy were outside the school when I arrived. I believe we were close to the first people there. Originally I had planned to let my kids participate in the protest but that didn't work out. My son said he didn't want to and I decided not to let my daughter stay with me because I was afraid if I ran afoul of the law then DHR would be called and that would mean big trouble.

After I dropped off the kids I found a place down the street to park, well off school grounds, then walked back and stood on the right-of-way directly across from where people enter and leave the parking lot with a sign that said "Coach Keith Beats Kids".

Not ten seconds later a New Site police cruiser rode by and I thought, "Well now, that didn't take long did it?" The cruiser drove to the other side of school grounds, parked his car where all I could see was the top of the windshield and the light bar. I figured he was there mostly to direct traffic and I wasn't bothered by him.

As the cars and buses began to roll in and out a traffic jam formed. I guess there is nothing like a protest of any kind in small town Alabama. I imagine a goodish number of the parents dropping off their kids have only seen protesters on TV. As most Tallapoosa County citizens are still largely unaware of what has happened at Horseshoe Bend involving Coach Keith and this child many wore expressions of shock.

Two kids, who looked to be football players, tried to heckle me. One said, "I wish you would go home and stop trying to get people in trouble." I told him that Coach Keith had gotten himself in trouble for abusing that kid and that if anyone goes home it should be Coach Keith. Permanently.

Another one rode by and said "He never beat me" and I said "Should we wait until he does?" No response on that one.

I understand not everyone will be happy about this situation and I also know that young kids and teens may not have the ability to see this situation clearly and in an overall broader sense. I am not mad at the kids and hold none of what they said against them. They are entitled to feel however they like and I am glad to at least see them using their power of expression even if what they are expressing is not supportive of my position. At least they know how to use it if not what exactly to use it for. That comes with life experience.

After about 20 minutes the traffic jam got pretty bad. There was a long line of cars waiting to turn in, a long line waiting to get out and nobody really getting anywhere. The New Site police cruiser pulled up in the turn lane with its lights on and the officer got out and started to direct traffic. I thought he might be about to tell me to move but he didn't. After that jam was cleared the officer pulled into the parking lot next to the road and waited until the jam got bad again. Then he pulled up directly in front of me, got out and started directing traffic again. He looked over and smiled and said "Good Morning" and I smiled and told him I would be out of the way as soon as the morning rush was over. He said, "That's fine." When he got back into his car again he pulled over in front of me, rolled down his window and asked me, "So...it's true then?" I told him yes and that I had seen the photos. He said he had not seen them but was wondering about all of it. I told him about how bad the bruises were and that I had kids in school there and I am concerned. He seemed to understand that position and just kind of nodded his head and told me to have a nice day. Then he pulled up into the school parking lot and that was that.

I stayed on the side of the road for a few more minutes until even the latest stragglers showed up and then decided that was enough for one day. Everyone attending that school now knows that Coach Keith is in some very hot water and it will be the talk of the town for a while to come.

My son called me as I was preparing to leave and said he didn't feel well to please come and get him. He, for months, has had hives, really bad outbreaks and the doctor can't seem to pinpoint the cause. So, I placed the sign in my back window and drove onto school property.

When I walked in the door there stood the New Site police officer, a sheriff's deputy and the principal. While I was waiting on Alex to get his books the principal mosied over and asked me how things were going. He asked what was wrong with Alex and a few other friendly questions. I asked him if my daughter could pick up Alex's homework assignments and he said he would see to it personally. He was so sweet sugar wouldn't have melted in his mouth. I know it must have been really chapping his ass to have to stand there and kiss mine....but that's life sometimes. I will say that I have never had any problems with Mr. Fuller. Every time I have spoken with him on any issue he has always been friendly and helpful. We have even had discussions about the absurdity of No Child Left Behind. I kind of hate to see him caught up in this mess....but, the fact is, he was a witness to the abuse inflicted by this coach and was therefore complicit because he didn't stop it. He should have learned long ago that you ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING even if it means pissing off your friends or co-workers.

As my son and I were leaving he told me that Coach Keith was still there today and that he had come into the office while he was waiting for me to pick him up. Alex said the halls were full of kids and teachers talking about me standing out front protesting and about what this guy has done. Alex said Coach Keith said "Yeah I knew it was coming...I knew it!"

I am sorry that I do not have any photos to share. I was a lone protester today and I have not yet managed to master the art of self-photography. Some new readers coming to the blog because of this story may try and say that since I was all alone that no one else cares about this. I'd like to offer a number of possibilities for being a singular protester before they even get started.

1. Most people have to work outside the home and cannot get off work for something of this nature.

2. Most people here did not even know about the incident before they saw me standing on the roadside this morning with a sign.

3. Many people think it is perfectly alright to beat their kids black and blue.

4. Huge things often start very small and it only takes one person to get the ball rolling.

I won't be back at the school tomorrow due to a scheduling conflict. I will be back on Thursday morning if Andy Keith is still an employee of the school at that time, and everyday thereafter that I am able to protest until he is fired.

Please join me.


Anonymous said...

Loretta you are a hero and DON'T you ever forget that. Any Alabaman who has the free time and doesn't come help you with this protest is just another sorry soul. My prayers are with you.

Jeff said...


If there is anything at all that I can do, please let me know.

Have you tried contacting the major media outlets in BHAM? Or maybe a national news agency? Public Pressure is always the best type.

Loretta Nall said...

Thanks Jeff. Right now I am not really trying to get the media involved. They will be, I assure you, but I took the advice of the attorney and let enough time pass for certian things to be put into place. Certain peperwork will be filed today that will alert the media to this case. When it hits I will offer my services and media contacts throughout the state and nation to the family and the lawyer. This will of course be for free. All I want is that man away from my children and everyone elses children. I'd also like to see corporal punishment banned in public schools.

The local media picked up on it yesterday and I expected them at the protest today but they didn't come. They will be sorry to have missed it as this story is likely about to be HUGE all over the US very soon.

paul said...


The only reason I wasn't there was tactical, as I said on your yahoo group...

"Hmmm....I was going to go to Tuscaloosa tonight after the IA meeting, but I'm flexible.

If you are up here for the IA meeting tonight and give me a ride down there and put me up for the night - floor, motel, whatever, I don't care - I don't mind helping protest. It would probably have to be two nights since you are going to Tuscaloosa Wed., unless there's another way for me to get back.

Mark is sick, and Sarah is still having car trouble. Alternate
transportation/lodging ideas welcome.

I'll also need a place to wash clothes, I only brought one change of clothing.

I'm fixing to get offline, so call me if you want to talk about this
today and are not coming up here for IA."

Well that did not work out, but the idea is still the same...for example if you can give me a ride down there after Tuscaloosa and have anywhere for me to crash the night - I don't really care where, I can be there Thurs AM if I can also get a ride back up to B'ham for John Sophocleus speech ...you might want to talk to John anyway, if we can work that out I can take it from there....

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that this has not been covered by the local media-HBHS should state their side. So that we are able to make an informed decision- that's the job of the local media-step up Alex City Outlook. I have a feeling like everything else the facts of this case have been stretched or not even mentioned. A paddling over gum?? Doubt it-A paddling so bad the spine was damaged and eyes were blackened?? Doubt it. Don't get me wrong-I am all for protecting our children at all cost-we as a town let one child fall through the cracks here recently, so we are the last people who want to sweep anything legitimate under the rug,but we need the facts before we convict someone who has chosen a career that pays very little to teach and help kids. If proven true-consequences should be rendered-but not until proven guilty.
Hello people we live in America.
C. Keith and Mr Fuller my prayers are with ya'll. Mrs. Nall my prayers are with your children as this situation must be tough for them.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of your children attending Horseshoe Bend School, I applaud you for making the rest of their school year and school life a living hell.

What a great mother and role model you are. Maybe you should get your nose out of your own personal agenda and mind your own business.


A different kind of concerned parent.

Loretta Nall said...

It is interesting that the local media didn't cover this. Of course, they didn't discover the story until yesterday. I am sure they will cover it once the paperwork goes out later today.

As for the facts of the case...I understand where you are coming from on that. It is very hard to believe that any teacher or public school employee would strike a kid for chewing gum and wearing an earring. It is difficult to fathom. There may be more to why the kid got into trouble. I am simply reporting what I have been told by the family. If that later changes then I will report the things that I am at liberty to report at that time. So far, everything else they have told me has been proven true and I have no reason to doubt that this wouldn't be as well.

Regardless of what this child might have done he did not deserve to be assaulted like that. There is simply no justification for it.

As to what I do know as facts,

1. Coach Keith sent this kid to the office....suppossedly for chewing gum and wearing an earring.

2. Mr. Fuller was a witness to the assault.

3. The sheriff's department, the hospital, the family and the lawyer all have photos of the bruises. I have viewed these photos and can attest to the fact that this kid is bruised, horribly so.

As for innocent until proven guilty...normally I would agree with you, (in reality that is a otal pipe dream though) but knowing the facts that I know, which are that Coach Keith hit this kid for something and injured him, that is all I really need to know. What it might have been for if it turns out it was for something other than bubble gum and an earring is completely irrelavent. Whether Coach Keith meant to hit that hard or not is irrelavent. He did it. That fact is indisputable. He left marks that would get parents sent to jail if they inflicted them on their kids and sent them to school. He needs to be fired and brought up on charges. Fair is fair, no?

As for my kids feeling repercussions for my raising awareness of this situation, all I have to say is they better not. You are the second person to imply such a thing. My kids have nothing to do with this other than they attend the school. If one employee or one student raises one finger to one hair on either of my childrens' heads then I will own Tallapoosa County. The school is charged with keeping my children safe while in their care. If they fail in that basic responsibility (and I don't have a lot of faith in their ability to keep kids safe after seeing the marks on this kid) then there will be another lawsuit for them to contend with and that will be the least of their worries.

Loretta Nall said...

To the anonymous person claiming to be a concerned parent

On behalf of your children attending Horseshoe Bend School, I applaud you for making the rest of their school year and school life a living hell.

What a great mother and role model you are. Maybe you should get your nose out of your own personal agenda and mind your own business.


A different kind of concerned parent.

The only kind of concern you could possibly have with that attitude is that your children don't get beaten enough. That's pretty sick!

So, are you saying that it is perfectly alright for school staff to beat students black and blue? And that parents with children at that school should just "mind their own personal business"?

That is about the most warped thing I have ever heard yet.

What a scream! IT IS MY PERSONAL BUSINESS. My children attend that school and I do not want my tax dollars going to employ someone who would assault a young kid bad enough to leave bruises.

And are you threatening my children?

My children will be fine for the rest of the year at Horseshoe Bend. I am about the last person anyone at that school wishes to get on the bad side of. If the jocks try and team up and beat up my son or rape my daughter there will be absolute hell to pay. That is a promise. Let one hair on the heads of either of my children be harmed and see what happens next.

By the way, I can see the IP in your message and it only takes a second to trace it and find out who you are and where you are. If either of my children are harmed I will come after you to the fullest extent of the law.

Neil Trenholm said...

>A different kind of concerned parent.

This person scares the crap outta me. An anonymous nutball.

This kind of violence by the coach can NEVER be tolerated. And yet I think the above person would approve of their kids beating the crap outta yours due to a difference of opinion. And be proud of it. What a fetid rectum !

The Alabama Moderate said...

Plain and simple, it's just to far away for me to load up the baby and go to a protest. The first one you do in the Trussville area, I'll be happy to attend. Right now, I'm mostly dealing with Argo drama, as you can probabaly tell from my blog. But I'm definitely there for you in spirit, and if there's anything I can do a little closer to home, let me know.

Anonymous said...

concerned parent,my ass.leave her alone.i don't see you doing anything to help this kid.oh,and she can trace you to your computer,ass.i'd hate to be your child.