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North Fort Myers High Baseball Coach Released

Posted at 7:09 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 22:29:07-04
FORT MYERS, FLa. -- The North Fort Myers Baseball players in the infield and in the dugout wont be seeing Head Coach Tavaris Gary on on the sideline the final four games of the season. The Lee County School Board tells FOX 4 Gary and two of his assistants were released from their positions Thursday. 
 
Gary tells FOX4 he and his staff haven't been fired, but suspended for the remainder of the season. Gary is the only black Baseball head coach in Lee County.  He's seen two racially charged incidents come his way in his two seasons on the job. 
 
Last May, a video shows the schools former Coach David Bechtol hammering away at a stereotypical image depicted of Gary's face with a noose around his neck and enlarged lip while Bechtol's wife cheers him on.
 
"Mr Gary's gone through a lot regarding racial resentment, racial hatred and racial bigotry," said Lee County NAACP President James Muwakkil. This season, the team found graffiti aimed at Gary on the dugout.
 
Suspension or firing, Muwakkil, a North Fort Myers grad says it's a discouraging setback at a school that needs more diversity among its staff. "First African American baseball coach in the history of North Fort Myers. That's unfortunate for African Americans in general who have those hopes and dreams of one day becoming a head football coach or baseball."