Cottonwood community shows support for Prairie High School allegations

Cottonwood community shows support for Prairie High School allegations
COTTONWOOD, ID - The Cottonwood Community came together in a unified effort to show their support for the basketball coaches and staff of Prairie High School following serious allegations made previously.

A month ago, angry parents confronted the school board about an alleged incident in which one of the Prairie boys basketball players allegedly placed his genitals in the face of another. However, many other parents, who were not at the meeting, became outraged by the allegations made and told KLEW News that the coaching staff was unaware they would be targeted that evening.

The board finished discussing the issue Monday night after former basketball players and graduates of Prairie High School took a stand to voice a very different opinion on the issue.

"Many of the statements said at the last school board meeting were complete slander and were stated by people who do not have kids affiliated with the program," said former Prairie High School basketball player Brock Heath. "I'm not here to point fingers, but I'm here to reiterate how important these men were to anyone on the team."

"I would just like to say how much the entire coaching staff has meant to all of us," said former Prairie High School basketball player Seth Guyer. "They've been such a great part of our lives and have taught us everything we know."

"This is the same coaching staff that looked us in the eye, in every practice, and in every game, and told us to leave everything on the floor, because we will never get it back," said Guyer.

More than 30 people showed up to the February school board meeting to voice their outrage over alleged inappropriate acts on the the high school boys basketball team bus.

According to Cottonwood Schools Superintendent Rene Forsmann, the coaches took immediate action as soon as they heard about the incident. She said the parents of all students involved were contacted and the boy behind the controversy was suspended.

Head coach Teel Bruner has been cited by many as nothing short of a pillar of the community and former students and players were upset at the allegations made.

"I wanted to let everyone know that these are great people we're dealing with here," said former Prairie High School basketball player Beau Schlader. "I don't believe that anything that has been put on them should have been put on them."

Parents at the previous meeting accused the coaches of covering up information about the incidents on the bus, however Forsmann maintains everything was handled appropriately and was surprised by the comments from the February meeting.

It is worth noting that the community members present at the previous meeting did not make their voices heard at Monday's school board meeting.

The school board told KLEW News they'll be implementing new rules and stand behind the coaches' actions 100 percent.

Bruner spoke with KLEW News off camera and said seeing former players show up to support him and the team meant a lot to him.