Huffpost Black Voices

High School Basketball Coach Calls Student Future Welfare Recipient (VIDEO)

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A high school basketball coach is coming under fire for making offensive comments to his students after being caught on tape.

Marcus Williams Jr., a senior at Winnetonka High School, filed a racial harassment complaint with the North Kansas School District after coach Derek Howard called him a "future welfare recipient," KCTV5.com reports.

Williams said when photography students asked him to pose for a picture, the coach stopped and said the words "future welfare recipient" should be printed beneath the photo.

"I just felt belittled, crushed and utterly discouraged," Williams told the news network.

But according to Williams, this is not a rare occurrence. He said, in his past two years of interacting with Howard, the coach routinely said negative and demeaning comments either directly to African American students or about them. So much so that the student chose not to try out for basketball this year.

Williams' father, Marcus Williams Sr. was outraged by the news and wants Howard removed from both his coaching and teaching positon.

"I speak that for every black African American in that school," Williams Sr. told the news outlet. "Now you gotta deal with the parents. We see you now. It's over."

Howard's comment was the last straw for the student, and Williams Jr. took the recording to his principal. Although the coach apologized, Williams said he doubts he was sincere.

Dr. Dan Clemens, the district assistant superintendent released a statement saying:

"The behaviors reported by this student do not reflect our professional conduct stands and will not be tolerated. We expect all students to be treated with respect by all staff at all times."

According to Kansas City news network KSHB, Williams Jr. transferred out of Winnetonka High School after receiving several online threats from angry classmates.

Howard has been placed on paid leave while under investigation and could not be reached by the network for comment.

CORRECTION: This article previously reported that the school district was the North Kansas School District rather than the North Kansas City School District located in Missouri.

The article also includes new information about the parents' response to online threats Williams Jr. received.

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