About a dozen parents attended the Oct. 9 meeting of the Ignacio School Board and read a three-page letter complaining about the Ignacio High School football program and activities director.
They said there is a "general lack of respect" from the coach and director for the athletes and their parents.
Students come home from football practice feeling "sad, embarrassed and beat down," said Jeremy Mickey.
He also said students are not taught proper football techniques and are at risk of injury because of it.
The coaches engage in bullying behavior, he added.
"Our coaches are not teaching citizenship," he said.
The football team is coached by Lupe Huerta. The activities director at IHS is Rocky Cundiff.
Another speaker, Germaine Ewing, asked that parents not be allowed to coach their own kids on their teams, saying it leads to favoritism.
She said she appreciates the work the school board does, but asked the members to pay more attention to the athletic department.
The final person to speak on the issue was Kelly McCaw. She said this year's team has about 25 percent of players who can function at the varsity level, and about 75 percent should be junior varsity. About half of the players have quit this year because they're injured, ineligible or discouraged, she said.
"We would like to finish the season with dignity and pride," she said.
The Bobcats have a 1-6 season this year and lost Saturday to Centauri 41-0.
Board member Troy Webb thanked the parents for attending and said the board is taking the issue seriously.
At the end of the meeting, the board went into executive session listed on the agenda as "personnel - football coaches." No vote or action was taken, said Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto.
In other action, the board approved a trip for Future Farmers of America students to attend the FFA national convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
Fuschetto also reported the district's enrollment for October is 722, an increase of 30 students from last year.
"That's really good news," he said. In his construction update, Fuschetto said the new roof at Ignacio Elementary School has not leaked during the past few storms, but he believes it is still a problem. He is considering pulling the performance bond for the contractor, Okland Construction, to fix the roof. He also is withholding the final payment of $270,000 for the construction. He also reported the town of Ignacio did not approve sidewalks poured near Ignacio Middle School on County Road 320. The contractor on that project had to break up the sidewalk and remove it.
Toby Roderick, the board president, also was congratulated by his board members for winning the McGuffy Award from the Colorado Association of School Boards. The award honors outstanding service to a local school board.