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Community backs Kennedy High coach suspended over hazing

February 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Parents, students, teachers and administrators are backing a coach who has been suspended for three weeks without pay for an alleged hazing incident.

Manny Alvarado, a revered baseball coach at John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, was suspended after two students in his class engaged in an alleged fight or hazing ritual outside the school weight room in November.

Chris Mallon, a player on the varsity team, said one of the students was on the team and the other was a freshman hoping to make the team. He said the physical altercation was a result of the two students not liking each other.

Mallon said he was with the coach in the weight room at the time and that the coach did not learn of the fight until after it happened.

Mallon said that in his four years on the team, he has not heard of any hazing incidents.

The Los Angeles Unified School District maintains that results from the investigation led to Alvarado's suspension.

"The district responded to concerns, investigated and took appropriate action to ensure the safety of students on the Kennedy campus," the LAUSD said in a statement.

The district said Alvarado will remain the baseball coach at Kennedy High.

"I want Mr. Alvarado reinstated, I want him not suspended and I want a statement put out that says he has been cleared of any of the nonsense that they think has gone on," said Brady Kuykendall, a parent whose two sons played for the coach.

Alvarado, who has coached at the school for 24 years, has led the Golden Cougars to five CIF Los Angeles City Section championships and groomed players for the MLB.

"He's a legend. Not only in the school and community, but all of high school baseball," Mallon said.