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Naming swim coach tabled after parents' complaints He allegedly swore at JV team members

The Tonawanda City School District's acting junior varsity swim coach is in hot water after allegedly cursing at several athletes during a swim meet last week.

Although Jason Kuczmanski's full-time appointment was on the agenda for the Tonawanda School Board on Tuesday night, the board instead tabled his appointment after several parent lodged complaints.

The coach in question had only been working for a few days when the alleged incident occurred Jan. 2.

The first incident occurred when Kuczmanski swore at the athletes sticking their arms out the window of a bus window en route to a swim meet in East Aurora, parents said.

Later on, one student-athlete became sick after competing in a race and was yelled at by the coach, who allegedly swore again, the parents said.

Several parents attended the board's meeting Tuesday to complain that the coach is being considered for the full-time post.
"To me this is outrageous and unacceptable, especially for an adult in charge of young students," said parent John Taggart. "How dare this person speak to my son or any child that way."

"Our children are told to respect [the coach], but he doesn't respect them," said Kimberly Pruitt, another parent of an athlete on the team.

Pruitt said the coach apparently apologized after his outburst, but he also suggested the athletes heard worse language from their parents and friends.

"I had a very long talk with my son," Pruitt said. "He said that if he wasn't a senior, he would quit."

The board moved to unanimously table the appointment of the coach, who was set to supervise the junior varsity squad and assist with the varsity team. Although board members debated appointing the varsity head coach, who previously served as the junior varsity coach, it was decided to follow through with the appointment to keep the swimming program active.

"If we table [the head coaching appointment], then we don't have a coach for either team, and we will have to suspend the program," said William Weber, vice president of the board. "We have to think about what we're doing."

Superintendent Barbara Peters said that in light of the junior varsity vacancy, the district would have to find another qualified adult to supervise the team.

"We have to have a second set of eyes; another lifeguard," she said.

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