Kansas High School Coach Fired After Allegedly Using Racial Slur Against Black Student

A Kansas high school baseball coach was fired Monday morning after a student's father said he used a racial slur against his son, who is Black, during a pregame batting practice before facing off against another team Thursday evening.

Olathe High School North baseball coach Pete Flood, who also taught at the school, was fired after a unanimous vote by the Olathe Public Schools Board of Education after Flood's remarks toward Tony Banks' son Nyle, who Banks said on Facebook is the only student of color on the team.

"Thank you for your bravery and coming forward to bring this coach's abhorrent behavior to our attention so we can act swiftly to prevent this from happening ever again," said board president Joe Beveridge in addressing Banks and his wife after apologizing for Flood's racist remarks before the board voted to fire Flood.

"I would also like to offer an apology to all the students and staff members who were present and had to experience this situation," Beveridge added during the live-streamed board meeting. He declared that "anyone who demonstrates racism and bigotry like this has no place in our district."

Flood's teaching contract was also terminated, and he has been removed from all positions within the school district.

"This coach has been officially FIRED!," Banks wrote Monday on Facebook where he initially drew attention to the racist comments made by Flood.

"FB [Facebook] posting and your responses made the difference," Banks said, thanking those online who reacted to his post detailing what his son experienced. "You, each one of you, blocked the school and district from sweeping my situation under the rug."

On Friday, the school district addressed the incident in a statement and recommended Flood's "immediate termination" to the school board.

"Racist and derogatory statements will never be tolerated. This is not who we are in Olathe," the statement read.

Banks shared a Facebook post Friday morning to "insist" on Flood's removal about what the former coach said to his son after his son and a teammate played rap music through speakers before facing off against Olathe South High School.

He said when Flood heard the music, "He looked Nyle directly in his eyes and said, 'We don't play that N***** (the long nasty version) music over here. We only play country and rock music.'"

His post called on family, friends, coaches and concerned citizens to call the school to request Flood's removal and called Flood "racist."

"This affects everybody," Banks said Friday, local KMBC News reported. "This affects all of the kids. The kids on the team all went to my son, they were apologizing. They were upset. They were bothered. They told their parents. Their parents were bothered."

Flood had been coaching baseball for 33 years and has worked as a teacher for 25 years, according to his LinkedIn which also said he was an assistant football coach at the high school. He had worked at Olathe North High School since 2018.

Although Banks was pleased at Flood's firing, his Facebook post Monday added, "The sad part is that we are not finished. The case here with my son is but one of thousands across the country!"

"You can and should expect more from Olathe Schools. We will learn from this and we will be better in the future," Beveridge also said during the board meeting.

When asked for comments about the incident, an Olathe Public Schools spokeswoman pointed to their public statement Friday and Beveridge's remarks made during the Monday's meeting.

Newsweek has reached out to Banks but did not hear back in time for publication.

Newsweek attempted to contact Flood for comment, but was unable to do so in time for publication.

Recreational Baseball Field
A recreational baseball field is empty because of lockdowns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on May 23, 2020 in Hydes, Maryland. A high school baseball coach in Olathe, Kansas, has been fired after allegedly issuing a racial slur against a Black student on the team. Patrick Smith/Getty Images