High school coach charged with assaulting teen - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

High school coach charged with assaulting teen

Howard Bates Howard Bates
LEBANON, TN (WSMV) -

Howard Bates, an assistant football coach at Lebanon High School, is off the job after police said he headbutted a player and made violent threats.

Bates turned himself in Wednesday at the Wilson County Sheriff's Office. He now faces a charge of assault on a teenager.

"You cannot threaten a person, let alone a child," said Faith Moore, the alleged victim's mother.

According to an affidavit, Moore's 16-year-old son and another player got into an altercation during practice Tuesday. Bates then allegedly headbutted Moore's son and threatened to slit his throat and kill him, using several expletives.

"For you to talk to these children that way, these are still children," Moore said. "I don't care how big they are or what they look like. They're still children."

Moore's son is an honor roll student, a starter for the Lebanon Blue Devils and a youth pastor at his church.

Moore said her son wanted to let the incident go.

"I did not find out about it until 1:30 yesterday (Wednesday)," Moore said. "The athletic director for the high school called me to inform me what was going on."

Other coaches on the team saw what happened and went straight to the principal.

"I am very proud that they stepped forward and said, 'this doesn't seem right,'" said Chief Scott Bowen with the Lebanon police.

The incident remains under investigation.

Bates bonded out of jail, but the school district ended up firing him.

Moore said she's not out for blood, only determined to do whatever is necessary to protect not just her child, but other children as well.

"My personal opinion, he does not need to ever coach again, he doesn't need to teach again," Moore said.

Bates did not return Channel 4's phone calls by deadline. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 2.

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