West Forsyth High School’s varsity boys basketball coach has been temporarily reassigned while authorities investigate allegations that he struck a student in the classroom.
According to the Forsyth County school system, Dennis Benedict remains a paid employee but is not coaching or teaching.
The system took action last week after the parents of a male freshman at West filed a report with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
The report involves an incident Friday between the student and Benedict, who is also a biology teacher at West.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said the matter is under investigation and authorities “won’t know until it’s done” exactly what transpired.
In a letter Tuesday to parents and school staff, West Principal Betty Pope said the student’s parents contend Benedict “struck the student in the back of the head.”
“A decision was made to pull the coach from his basketball coaching duties Friday evening and reassign him to duties outside the classroom until both law enforcement and school system investigations could be completed and a determination made regarding continuing employment and coaching,” Pope wrote.
Once the sheriff’s investigation is complete, the school system will conduct its own, she added.
According to the school system, Benedict has 28 years of teaching experience.
He has been employed by the district since 2003, working first at North Forsyth High and moving to West when it opened in 2007.
He became head coach of the varsity girls basketball team in 2008, before taking over the boys program in 2010.
The Wolverines, who were scheduled to face Roswell on Tuesday night, are being led by assistant coach Chip Flemmer, who also teaches social studies at the school. West played Milton on Friday night.