Jury: School District Justified in Releasing Coach Over Hazing

The coach argued he was fired in part because of his age.

A federal jury found school district administrators in Maine were justified when they did not renew a longtime high school baseball coach’s contract on Dec. 3.

Murray Putnam, 68, had alleged in a lawsuit that he was fired from his positions at Southern Aroostook Community High School in 2012 because of his age and because he was an outspoken critic of school consolidation, according to the Bangor Daily News.

But administrators at Regional School Unit #50, or RSU 50 as the district is known, asserted that Putnam’s contract ended because of severe hazing incidents that occurred on a spring baseball trip.

RELATED: How to Assess Your Hazing Prevention and Response Program

Putnam had held positions as athletic director and baseball coach at the high school for at least 39 years. His lawsuit was brought against the district and former RSU 50 Superintendents John A. Doe and Larry Malone.

A school district attorney said the jury’s decision “sent a strong message that hazing is absolutely unacceptable in our state.”

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