Polk County school officials reverse decision to fire football coach

Polk County
Polk County coach reinstated

The Polk County School District has reinstated Winter Haven High School’s head football coach and teacher Charlie Tate just one week after terminating him. 

Tate, an employee at the high school since 2005, was fired Oct. 30 because of an alleged incident involving Tate and two students on Oct. 9. 

According to an incident report by Winter Haven Police, Tate was accused of pushing a shopping cart into the leg of one student who ended up falling to the ground after the impact. The report states a second student intervened and cursed at Tate, and then the coach grabbed that student by the shirt and attempted to push him to the ground.

Tate said he pulled that student back into the room by the backpack and then they stood “nose to nose,” according to police. 

Tate told police that, “he was out of patience at the moment,” and “he knows it doesn’t excuse his behavior.”

The State Attorney’s Office evaluated the incident and found there was no evidence to support a charge.

While the school system initially terminated Tate’s contract, the decision was reversed following a meeting between the coach, Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd, Winter Haven Principal Gina Williams and County Athletic Director Dan Talbot.  

In a statement, the Polk County School System told News Channel 8 that Tate will be reinstated, and will serve a three-day suspension. He will be allowed to return to work on Tuesday, Nov. 13. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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