Football Coach Suspension Leaves Void For Grandfalls-Royalty ISD

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

GRANDFALLS -When Arturo Rodriguez was suspended, Grandfalls-Royalty High School lost more than a football coach.

As it turned out, Rodriguez wore many hats in that school and now the district must prepare for a future with those positions empty.

In a small town of less than 500 people, school administrators find themselves having to pull down more than one job on campus.

And now with the suspension of Rodriguez, that's even more painfully clear.

Rodriguez didn't just lead the Cowboy football team. He was the principal, the athletic director, and coached both the boys basketball and track and field teams.

The Grandfalls-Royalty Superintendent said the news of the scandal was shocking.

"We are more like a family so it was quite a shock to everyone," Superintendent Jan Hunt, said. "It's a very unfortunate situation. We regret it and we hate it."

Nonetheless, Hunt says the only thing to do is move forward, starting with the handful of vacancies Rodriguez left behind.

"Just looking at our personnel, seeing if we can pull from the personnel that we currently have, if we're going to have to seek personnel from outside the district," Hunt said.

Hunt said a junior high basketball coach will come in and take care of the boys' hoops team with upcoming tournament. She'll have to cover some of the workload left for the empty principal office.

Thankfully for them, football season is over and track and field doesn't start until the Spring.

When NewsWest 9 hit the streets to talk to neighbors about what they think about the scandal, most didn't come to their doors or wish to speak on camera.

But some residents did tell NewsWest 9 they were upset that it happened in Grandfalls, a place they had brought their families to avoid such incidents.

For those who did talk with NewsWest 9, they expressed their outrage.

"I don't like it at all. It's very wrong," Grandfalls resident, Betty Kohn, said. "It's just, it's not right. The kids are there to learn, not to be used. Whether you're a schoolteacher or an oil field worker, it's not right."

As for the district, Superintendent Hunt says they will spend this Christmas Break looking at their options and fixing the problem before the new semester.

But mostly they want to stress that everything they do is to help keep a safe learning environment for the Grandfalls kids.