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Parents demand answers after Hart Public Schools launch investigation into wrestling coaches

Students have started a petition online that has more than 500 signatures asking for the coaches to be back with their team.

HART, Mich. — Parents of wrestlers at Hart Public Schools are looking for answers after their wrestling coaches were not able to accompany them to the state wrestling individual finals.

This is the fourth straight year the wrestling team has made it to state.

Just last week, 13 ON YOUR SIDE profiled the athletic programs in Hart because this year alone is the first in a long time that every sports program has a winning record.

But soon after the story aired, 13 ON YOUR SIDE has learned that the district is conducting an investigation that has caused the high school wrestling coaches not to accompany their players to the state wrestling individual finals.

The Pirates are led by 2013 Hart High School graduate Elijah Flores who we spoke to just last week about the team’s success.

Students have started a petition online that has more than 500 signatures asking for the coaches to be back with their team.

In it, the students say, "We feel discouraged and disappointed in our school system. These two have impacted us so much with the short amount of time they have been here."

In a statement, Hart Superintendent Mark Platt said, “I am aware of the petition. I can confirm that we did send different coaches to the state wrestling individual finals as we continue to  investigate the situation.” 

The superintendent went on to say that Hart is preparing to host the district finals on March 3, which they are playing for the championship title.

The district says they may provide more information Monday.

On Monday, Superintendent Platt sent this statement: 

"The district had been investigating an incident from Team State Finals. The incident was brought to our attention last Sunday. Due to the short time between Team State and Individual State, the district had to make a decision early last week on how best to proceed with last week. With the assistance of a previous coach, the decision was made to have another coach within our program lead the wrestlers competing at the Individual State Tournament this past weekend. As you know from our previous interviews with Hart, we evaluate our programs based on culture and not wins and losses. We are aware of the stories being shared and as often happens, that information is not always accurate and can be exaggerated."

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