The Wharton Independent School District is investigating an incident between a Wharton Tiger assistant football coach and some of the players during a break in their game Friday against the Bellville Brahmas at Eddie Joseph Memorial Stadium.

Wharton ISD released a statement Monday that said Superintendent Michael O’Guin, who regularly attends the home games, was advised of an altercation inside the Tiger locker room.

“I am aware of an incident occurring during halftime of the football game on Friday involving a member of the coaching staff and student athletes,” Dr. O’Guin said in the press release. “The incident is currently under investigation.”

The district opener for Wharton and its opponent appeared to be decided midway through the first quarter when Bellville scored two touchdowns, and at halftime led 62-0. The Brahmas eventually won, 72-0, which was Wharton’s worst defeat this year.

Once the game had already been decided, it was decided that the second half game clock would continuously run.

Several of the Wharton players appeared more flustered than others on the sideline following Bellville offensive and defensive scores during the first half, and although there was obvious frustration on the players’ part, some coaches, including head coach Chad Butler, spoke to some of the players to try to calm them.

At no point before halftime did the players and coaches appear aggressive toward each other or did police need to intervene.

Wharton ISD Police Chief Landy Williams and a second school district officer are assigned to football games at the stadium, and Lt. Ben Guanajuato, with the Wharton Police Department, is on the home side of the entrance gate that leads to the football field.

Dr. O’Guin didn’t give details about who is involved in the investigation, but added “at the conclusion, appropriate actions to address the situation will be taken.”

He said the incident involved an employee and for student confidentiality reasons, no additional information would be shared.

“As always, the safety of our students and staff remains our top priority,” “Dr. O’Guin said.

No charges have been filed in this incident as of deadline Tuesday.

Teachers, students threatened

According to a Houston news station in a Monday report, there was a separate altercation last month between an educator and a student on the Wharton High School campus.

A teacher whose voice was altered to remain unidentified in the KPRC news report, said the Wharton ISD Board of Trustees need to acknowledge the school district is in “serious trouble.”

The unidentified teacher said a female colleague had bruises on her leg and marks on her hand from a student’s pencil attack Sept. 23. The male student allegedly threatened the lives of other students and teachers, one of them a substitute, and said he was going to “kill everyone.”

Wharton ISD didn’t immediately comment on the alleged attack publicly.

The Journal-Spectator Tuesday did reach out to Dr. O’Guin. 

He said the following: “We’re aware of an incident that is being investigated and appropriate actions are in the process of being taken. Because the incident involves employee and student confidentiality, we will not be making any further statements. As always, the safety of our students and staff remains our top priority.”

The unidentified teacher said there is no discipline being administered to students.

The teacher in the televised news report suggested there have been challenges in having more students on the WHS campus. 

Coming into the 2021-22 school year, Wharton Junior High School students have been on the WHS campus while their school is being reconstructed. The older and younger students, their teachers and school administrators are housed in portable buildings in back of the school. Their bell schedule is different so they never come in contact with each other.

The Wharton ISD Board of Trustees will meet the third Thursday of the month. Their next meeting is Oct. 21.

The Journal-Spectator reached out to Wharton ISD to see if any of the trustees had requested to have a special meeting to address these recent incidents involving students and educators. In accordance with the Open Meeting Act, an entity is required to give 72-hours advance notice of a meeting. 

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