Respected and adored by families and students, Muir’s popular football coach Ken Howard removed as coach after altercation with student: “The police officers that responded said I did everything right,” Howard said.

Latest Update: A confidential school district memorandum calls into question the behavior of a football coach and a “belligerent” student who were involved in a scuffle that lead to the coach being placed on administrative leave.

The skinny: Muir football coach Ken Howard, a former school security guard who spent 17 years patrolling the Muir halls, said he was asked by vice principal Dr. Charles Park to conduct a search of a student reportedly armed with a knife on Friday, and a scuffle ensued in what Howard described as necessary to defend himself, and apparently, after meeting with police, they felt so too, opting not to file charges. “The police officers that responded said I did everything right,” Howard said. Even so, Howard was placed on administrative leave, and removed as head coach while the school conducts an investigation. Howard said in Tuesday’s story that Park apologized to him for authorizing the search and Howard’s attorney said Park authorized the search. However, in tomorrow’s paper there will be an update in which Park declares he never asked Howard to conduct a search. I hate to write it, but it sounds to me that administrators are prepared to make Howard the scapegoat. We will continue to update as this develops. Just to clarify, the administrative leave was his removal from coaching. Howard is no longer a full-time security guard at Muir, he was laid off as part of budget cuts more than a year ago. But he still volunteers to help with security since he’s the football coach, something he does to help keep his players in line at school. This I also find interesting. The suspension of Howard came the same day a fatal stabbing occurred at Southeast High in South Gate. Four people were stabbed, including the school’s dean. Although a knife was never found during Howard’s search, the result of not searching when you suspect someone has a weapon could end up a South Gate situation if you don’t err on the side of caution, something school officials should keep in mind when sorting this out.

Friday’s breaking story: John Muir High School head football coach Ken Howard was placed on administrative leave Friday after a scuffle with a student.

Monday’s updated story: On Friday the popular Howard was placed on administrative leave after an altercation Wednesday with a student who was reportedly armed with a knife. A scuffle ensued after Howard attempted to search the student’s backpack. Howard said he was told to search the backpack by a school administrator. His attorney Joe Hopkins identified the administrator as Dr. Charles Park. “(Howard) was trying to protect other people from being harmed by some missing deadly weapons, i.e. knives,” Hopkins said. “He was trying to find where they were and the result is he ends up being suspended … (it) makes me think Howard is the scapegoat.”

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  • Time for a change

    Great guy and good security guard. Terrible coach. Horrible coach. Incompetent coach. Keep him as a security guard, but please, for the love of God, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, PLEASE find a new coach for a once-proud program. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • reality

    Lets not be to quick to indict the admins in making a rush to judgement. We have heard Ken’s and his atty’s comments that he did everything right but have heard little from the other side. In this litigous society that we now live in, we often have to err on the side of money not safety and that means innocent people sometimes get penalized and guilty people do not. Only a complete airing of the facts will end this story. I hope the media does’nt make judgements until all the facts are in. I wish the best for the coach and the kid and their families. This one looks so far like a lose,lose situation.

  • Obvious

    Hmmmm… Let’s see here.

    Vice Principal Dr. Charles Park = Korean

    coach Ken Howard = African American

    Guess who’s going to be thrown under the bus on this one?

  • GetReady

    To obvious,

    soo dong joo?

    jimmy the greek?

    don immus?

    the duke lacrosse team?

    fuzzy zoeller?

    the six white men that tawana brawley accused of raping her?

    trent lott?

    man…I could go on…can’t WE?

    you dishonor the heroism of this coach and and the credibility our teachers/administrators by placing this issue under the banner of “RACE.” take off your racial lenses and see we are one race…the human race!

  • HS

    I smell the end of an era

    HS may soon retake The Bell!

  • Obvious

    GetReady

    Take off your rose colored glasses, and see the world for what it really is. If you think we are ONE human race, you are gravely mistaken. You would like to believe in a world with no borders, but because we ARE human, that is an impossibility. Basic human nature has made us what we are, and has crisscrossed our planet with territorial borders. If you think for a second that the Koreans, and African Americans are on the verge of holding hands, and calling each other brother, you are truly clueless.

    You are an idealist, and I am a realist.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/tribpreps/2011/10/respected-and-a.html paul

    Obvious, why is Park a Korean? and not a Korean- American? just as Coach Howard is not an African, just keep the race crap out of it, enough!!, Coach Howard did what most wont do anymore, he did something about it, most would have turned away! Great Job Coach, im sure you will get hired somewhere!!