Parent, coach tensions result in halt of Kaiser's football season

Parent, coach tensions result in halt of Kaiser's football season

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kaiser High School football team will have to wait until 2018 to play their first game on the school's brand-new turf field.

In a letter sent home to students on Tuesday, Kaiser High School principal Justin Mew announced that the remainder of the school's football season has been cancelled due to 'extreme concerns for student and staff safety.'

"The well being of our school community is a top priority, and we are committed to keeping our students and staff safe," wrote Mew in the letter.

In his letter to parents, Mew also says that 'an incident' occurred on campus on Monday evening that required police involvement.

"We had some concerns about matters that were happening on campus. Those are matters that I don't want to disclose right now because we will fully investigate. It's unfortunate that we had to do this. Our athletic season is very important to us and to the community," said Hawaii schools superintendent Christina Kishimoto.

Sources tell Hawaii News Now that the Kaiser High School football team was supposed to have a parent meeting on Monday night about pulling up JV players to the varsity team for the homecoming game this weekend, but the meeting got canceled after an altercation at the field led to police being called.

JV football player William Bryant says he and his teammates were in the locker room getting ready for a team picture last night when they heard screaming outside.

"The coaches were just trying to hold the parents back and not let anything happen but one thing went to another and it just escalated too far," said Bryant.

Members of the football team were pulled out of class on Tuesday for an emergency meeting with administrators to discuss what happened, sources say. Kaiser High School faculty and staff also reportedly met on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

Players say the team took the news hard -- especially the seniors.

"They were crying. It's hard for them because this is their last year. This is how they're going to get their scouts and stuff. We put all our time and effort into it and everything went away that quick," Bryant said.

In an email obtained by Hawaii News Now that was distributed internally to faculty and staff members, school administrators said that the decision to cancel the remainder of the football season was "due to escalating threats against members of our faculty and staff."

Multiple sources tell Hawaii News Now that there was a second, unspecified altercation involving a parent, but that the incident happened at head coach Arnold Martinez's home, not at the school.

Court records obtained by Hawaii News Now show that Martinez filed for a temporary restraining order last week. It was not immediately clear whether the request for a restraining order was related to the incident.

Several parents tell Hawaii News Now that Martinez struggled to field a team because players don't want to play for him, and they are frustrated that their complaints have not been taken seriously by the school administration.

Under Martinez, the Kaiser High School football team was unable to find any traction in 2017 before Tuesday's announcement. The team had trouble fielding a complete team, forfeiting four of their first five games and losing the only game they actually played, 71-0, against Campbell.

This story will be updated.

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