By Jordan Azcue
The family of Joshua Sanchez, a 15-year-old high school basketball player, has sued Scott Guttery, Fort Myers (Fla.) High School’s head basketball coach, and others, after Guttery committed a hard foul against Sanchez in an open gym setting, causing a concussion.
Sanchez’ mother, Stephanie Sanchez, sued Guttery, Fort Myers principal David La Rosa and superintendent of Lee County School District Dr. Gregory Adkins, for negligence.
“We would’ve just liked a simple acknowledgment and apology,” said Mrs. Sanchez during an interview with the local media.
During a scrimmage last May, Sanchez called a foul on Guttery. In response, Guttery “showed him what a real foul is” by hitting him in his head with his forearm, the mother alleged. This, she claimed, caused a concussion.
Sawyer Smith, Sanchez’ lawyer, said that a school employee should not threaten students, but should show discipline and abstain from retaliating.
While Guttery has received backlash from people for his actions, Sanchez has also been on the receiving end of criticism. The media has reported that one of Guttery’s friends, Steven Brooks, said, “I’ve never known him to be anything other than a man of high integrity, principal, respect and compassion.”
Guttery spoke at a board meeting in his defense:
“Our district is in the habit of listening to disgruntled parents’ and lawyers’ allegations, and reacting to those accusations before speaking with their employees or their employee’s direct supervisors. In this particular case, our district reacted to a phone call from a litigation attorney and a false accusation of parents with a history of problematic behavior within the school system.”
The school district placed Guttery on administrative leave, and he eventually resigned from Fort Myers High School. On July 31, Guttery took a new job, becoming the Director of Sports Management and Basketball Operations at Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers.
“When a bully doesn’t get his way, he takes his ball and goes home. Literally,” said Smith, Sanchez’ lawyer, in reference to Guttery.
The video can be viewed here: