Texas soccer player kicked out of track and field program after slamming the team in a school assignment trial
ANSON, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) – A parent of an Anson High School junior is upset after his son was kicked from the athletic program for expressing his views on the football season in an essay given to him in class.
Anson high junior Tony Soliz received a prompt in English class on Monday, November 15: “Write about something you expected to happen but didn’t.” Tony, being an Anson Tigers linebacker, chose to write about his team and how he expected them to do better this season than them.
Much like the task that prompted the essay, Tony didn’t expect the outcome his submission would bring.
âHe wrote this assignment to the best of his ability, and then it was picked up by this teacher elsewhere. I think it should have been between teacher and student, âsays Tony’s father Jason Soliz.
The newspaper criticized the decisions made that year by the coaching staff, although it was never layman. Nonetheless, the essay, or at least the word, has made its way out of Tony’s English class and head coach Chris Hagler.
Jason was called and informed that his son would be removed from the track and field program in response to the test. This Tuesday, Tony was called into Coach Hagler’s office.
âHe asked me if I had written about the team. I told him I had. He was telling me it was wrong of me, telling me I was breaking athletic rules, âTony says.
Jason expressed concern over the coach’s censorship of his student, especially since no prior warning or meeting had taken place prior to his son’s dismissal, stating that someone with the position and the Hagler’s power shouldn’t act like he did.
Jason and Hagler met to discuss his actions after Tony was already fired.
âHe said what Tony wrote was a slander, he can’t write about the team. I asked him: “Are you telling me that your players are not allowed to have an opinion? He said, âThat’s right,â Jason said.
Anson athletes sign a code of conduct in order to compete, although a school assignment for a separate class doesn’t appear to violate any part of the code.
Abilene’s attorney, Sam Mehaffey, of the Mehaffey & Watson law firm, reviewed the documents and facts of the case and said in part:
It is important for parents, students and school employees to include coaches, to understand that students do not lose their 1st Amendment rights at the school gate, whether their speech is uncomfortable or not. or disagreeableâ¦ Schools may restrict speech only for legitimate educational reasons. purposes. This includes preventing disruption and preventing a culture of incivility. Here, the fact that it is a writing job is significant. If the student has simply handed over a document to be seen only by the teacher in the ordinary course of business, then the school will find it difficult to justify any kind of punishment. It is always unconstitutional to punish a child for his opinion.
Abilene’s lawyer, Sam Mehaffey
Tony will be entering his final year at Anson in 2022 and says he would love to play football, but would rather not be on Coach Hagler’s squad.
âMaybe I’ll join the program, but if he stays, I probably won’t join the program,â Tony says.
As stated in Hagler’s letter, Tony is currently not eligible for the athletic program unless they can negotiate his return.
âWe’ll see where it goes from here. Hopefully the school will take care of it, and if not, we’ll go even further. Whatever we have to do to make that happen, âsays Jason.
When asked for a statement, Anson ISD said he did not comment on disciplinary actions involving students.