High School Coach Resigns After 'No Gay Thursday' Assault

John Vogan

A high school football coach has resigned after a freshman was sexually assaulted.

John Vogan has given up his position as head coach of Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pa., reports Philadelphia TV station WPVI.

The Tredyffrin/Easttown School District released a letter Thursday announcing his resignation. The news follows accusations that on October 15, 17-year-old high school football players assaulted a teammate with a broom handle in the locker room on “No Gay Thursday.”

The 14-year-old victim, a freshman, was reportedly resented by teammates for being on the varsity team. “No Gay Thursday” is being described as a team tradition — a day when sexual harassment that players would normally call “gay” was deemed fine and then used to taunt each other.

School officials determined that the locker rooms had “an insufficient adult presence,” which created an unsafe setting. The staff of the varsity and junior varsity teams have also been relieved of duties in all sports for the rest of the year.

“Conestoga does not accept any type of intolerance, hazing, bullying or intimidation within our school community,” the letter stated. “'No Gay Thursday’ is ignorant, intolerant, and has no place in any school. Even though no gay students were specific targets of discrimination, the practice itself is an affront to us all.”

Vogan had previously been suspended by the school district, located in suburban Philadelphia. The Chester County district attorney this month announced charges against the students and also called out the coaching staff for a “shocking lack of supervision.”

“Kids reported that the victim was yelling and screaming,” said the DA, Tom Hogan, in a news conference, “but he did not have a friend in that locker room.”

The three students face charges of assault, conspiracy, unlawful restraint, and terroristic threats. But Hogan isn’t charging them with sexual assault, because “the law requires a motive of sexual gratification, which was not the case here.”

Police are still investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call (610) 240-1000.

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