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UPDATE: Cheer Coach's daughter speaks out about mother's firing

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Still frame from TSSN video. Used with permission. Still frame from TSSN video. Used with permission.

UPDATE: 18-year-old Amanda Fann is speaking out to defend her mother, a 2-time national championship coach. 

Grundy County superintendent Jessie Kinsey dismissed Teresa Fann as the high school cheerleading coach believing surveillance video shows her trying to trip another team's cheerleader. But Amanda says it’s more than her mom losing the coaching job. “It is something she loves doing. She has made such a difference in our lives. It is insane how girls come to her and say you changed me, you affected my life, you made me a better person.”

She says it's her mom's teaching reputation at stake. “She is recognized as one of the better teachers in the county. One of the best 5th grade teachers. She is really good, for this situation to put her at risk, it is ridiculous.” Fann will keep her teaching job.

Amanda says she didn't picture senior year ending this way. She and ten others quit the team in protest. “We have dedicated so much to Grundy County High School." 


PREVIOUS STORY: Several Grundy County High School Cheerleaders reached out to Channel 3.

After the majority of the girls quit the squad a letter was emailed out by the school's superintendent, Jessie Kinsey.

In the letter (below) it says if the girls choose not to remain on the cheer squad they will not earn their PE credit.

Channel 3 reached out to Kinsey about the letter and she replied, "We have no further comment."


PREVIOUS STORY: Channel 3 Eyewitness News obtained surveillance video that cost a Grundy County cheer coach her job. The superintendent says the video shows Teresa Fann trying to trip a cheerleader from rival Sequatchie County High School. But not everyone says that's the case. It happened about two weeks ago during a boys basketball game between the two high schools.

The community is coming to the coach’s defense. Even the cheerleader Teresa Fann is accused of tripping says no harm was done, but the school superintendent makes it clear – she doesn’t want Fann leading the squad.

It's a gym surveillance video that cost one Grundy County cheerleading coach her job. In the video, taken during a basketball game between Grundy County and Sequatchie County, it appears Teresa Fann tripped a cheerleader from the opposing school. “The first video that came out I think most would agree it painted Ms. Teresa in a bad picture,” said Talena Green, a cheer parent.

But video shot from a different angle that has others questioning if Teresa Fann purposely tripped a student. “In this new video it shows the girl tumbling across the floor and her crowd is yelling to get back over. That is what Ms. Teresa was telling her to do. Stay on her side.”

Tensions were high that night. Talena Green said during the game cheerleaders were crossing the half court line. It is a common courtesy for each squad to stay on their respected side of the court.  “Ms. Teresa did not go out there to trip her. She is a professional adult, a sane adult. She would not have gone in front of a crowd of people and purposely trip this girl and injure her.”

Fann was suspended from teaching for three days without pay and fired as cheer coach. A punishment cheer parents don't understand. “They looked at the video, determined she was not at fault, she did nothing wrong, why can't she go back to coaching?”

A question the father of the cheerleader in the video is also asking. Tim Dean told Channel 3, “I don’t think she did anything wrong, and I was there.  If I thought my daughter was being mistreated, I’d have been out there in a heartbeat.  My daughter was not hurt in any way, and she has no hard feelings against Teresa.”

He went on to say his daughter was coached by Fann and the two are personal friends. Superintendent Jessie Kinsey brought the video to our attention in an attempt to explain the punishment. We attempted to reach her today to talk about the second angle of video. We were not able to reach her. Parents said several Grundy County High School cheerleaders have quit in light of coach Fann’s firing.


PREVIOUS STORY: Tim Dean, the father of Sequatchie County High cheerleader who was stopped from going further down court by opposing cheer coach Teresa Fann, spoke with Channel 3's David Carroll Thursday afternoon about the incident that's gathered a lot of attention from students and parents.

Dean wants it to be known that he is in full support of the Grundy cheerleader coach:

“I don’t think she did anything wrong, and I was there. If I thought my daughter was being mistreated, I’d have been out there in a heartbeat. My daughter was not hurt in any way, and she has no hard feelings against Teresa. We’ve known her personally for many years, she helped train my daughter. My daughter would not be where she is today without the gymnastic training she got from her.
 
Tensions were high that night, and Teresa was just trying to keep things under control. She would never hurt anyone. I don’t think she deserves any punishment at all. This whole thing has been blown out of proportion, and I hope it doesn’t go any further.”


PREVIOUS STORY: Channel 3 Eyewitness News has obtained surveillance video that cost a Grundy County cheer coach her job.

The superintendent says the video shows Teresa Fann trying to trip a cheerleader from rival Sequatchie County High School.

The incident happened January 15, during a boys basketball game between the two high schools.

MOBILE USERS | Watch here

Grundy County superintendent Jessie Kinsey confirms to Channel 3 that Fann will no longer coach the cheerleaders.

School officials say a fight between the boys basketball teams erupted before Fann tried to trip the teenage girl. The TSSAA suspended several basketball players from both schools as a result of the brawl.

(Video courtesy of Chandler Morrison with The Spear Sports Network.)

A petition is circulating in Grundy County for Fann to get her job back. School officials say the release of video follows an official review.

READ MORE | Petition for reinstatement of Teresa Fann, GCHS cheer coach

Channel 3 has attempted to contact Fann for comment. We have not received one from her at this time.

Stay with Channel 3 on-air and online for updates to this story.

School Patrol

David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.

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