Support grows for SFM High coach fired after bathroom sex scandal

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- The lawyer for South Fort Myers High School’s former head football coach who was let go after a bathroom sex scandal is calling Anthony Dixon’s firing a “cover up” by the Lee County School District.

“Anthony Dixon had nothing to do with this event and there’s nothing he could have done to prevent it,” said attorney Ben Yormak. “Ultimately, this is nothing more than a cover up by the district of their own missteps.”

The incident, which took place in May, received widespread attention after school officials said multiple boys, a majority of which were on the football team,  were accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl in a bathroom.

Yormak says that day, about two dozen football players were in a study hall in the library after school and before practice. Dixon always starts the study hall, but then turns it over to his assistant coaches, according to Yormak.

“This assistant coach was positioned just at the door of the library where these football players would have been coming in and out of the room. He had to have been in a position to observe exactly what happened and he took no steps to prevent this incident from occurring,” Yorkmak says, adding Dixon had left assistant coach Nathan O’Jibway in charge.

“He either saw it and didn’t do anything or he had willful blindness. There’s no way he could have missed at least 26 players going in and out of that library,” Yormak said.

O’Jibway was also fired as an assistant coach on Tuesday, but remains at the school as a teacher.

Although school district officials say the incident is still under investigation, board chairman Steve Teuber says as head coach, Dixon was in charge and ultimately responsible.

Meanwhile, students took to social media Wednesday to show their support for Dixon.

Some wrote “Dixon is South” and “Bring Dixon back” on Twitter while others encouraged students to attend the Lee County School Board meeting next Tuesday and stand up for the former coach.

“He was like almost everyone’s dad or person to go to when they needed something to talk about,” said Thailyn Green, a sophomore at the high school.

More than just a football coach, Dixon was also a security guard, working for the school for 18 years.

“He’s like the key, like the glue that holds this school together,” sophomore Kameron Wilson said. “Really football is what keeps this school how it is and when we lose one of the best coaches we’ve had… kinda in shock.”

Students, parents and teachers gathered 1,500 signatures in an online petition to get Dixon back on the field.

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